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Irish Ferries Name Changes for Dover Calais and Holyhead Dublin ships

07 Jun 2024

Irish Ferries has a proud tradition of extending its Irish heritage through the naming of its ships after famous Irish writers and their works of literature.

In keeping with this, Irish Ferries is pleased to announce that the ship currently called Oscar Wilde serving the Holyhead to Dublin and Dublin to Cherbourg routes, is to be renamed the James Joyce. The new James Joyce ferry was appropriately built by the same shipbuilders as the Ulysses (named after Joyce’s most celebrated novel), the ship it will now partner with when sailing the Irish Sea. The legendary Irish novelist, poet and literary critic needs little introduction and is regarded as one of the most influential and important writers of the 20th century with a unique writing style.

Irish Ferries is also pleased to confirm that the recently acquired Spirt of Britain will be renamed as Oscar Wilde. The Oscar Wilde will join the Irish Ferries fleet on the Dover to Calais route later this month replacing the Isle of Innisfree, which will move to the Pembroke to Rosslare route.

Dublin born Wilde was one of the most popular writers in London in the early 1890s for his works including the novel The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891) and his most famous play, The Importance of Being Earnest (1895). Appropriately for the Dover-Calais route, he had strong links to France: he was a fluent French speaker, and even wrote a one-act tragedy in French, Salomé (1893). Much drama and tragedy marred Wilde's private life leading to a stay in prison, after which he fled by sea to France, where he remained in exile until he died in 1900. His tomb can be visited in Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.

Andrew Sheen, Managing Director at Irish Ferries, said: “We are delighted to confirm the ship names James Joyce and Oscar Wilde, which will continue our proud heritage of Irish literary connections on our routes aligned to Irish Ferries’ award-winning hospitality and outstanding service for our freight and passenger customers. All of this truly lives up to our ethos of encouraging passengers to ‘Sea Travel Differently’”.

Prices for one-way sailings start from £73 for a car and up to nine passengers on its Dover Calais route, and from £144 for a car plus 1 adult on its Holyhead Dublin route. Customers can book online at Passenger bookings made with Irish Ferries, whatever the route, can earn points for savings on future sailings with its loyalty programme, Irish Ferries Club.