Irish Ferries was founded in 1972 to operate a new France - Ireland route. This route was initially departing Le Havre. To establish the service, Irish Ferries ordered Saint Patrick (1), which was introduced on 29th May 1973.
In 1978, Saint Patrick (1) was joined on the French service by Saint-Killian. Meanwhile, Irish Ferries opened its services from Rosslare to Cherbourg-en-Cotentin, although it was still serving Le Havre. The Le Havre service was later scrapped, at an unknown date.
In late-1981, Saint Killian benefited a jumboisation in order to increase her garage and passenger capacities, to cope with the growing traffics on her routes. Meanwhile, Saint Patrick (1) was replaced by Saint Patrick (2).
Since late-2007, the France - Ireland service has been operated by Oscar Wilde.
|CHERBOURG-EN-COTENTIN - ROSSLARE (1972 onwards)|
|Main Ship||Oscar Wilde (2007 onwards)|
Saint-Patrick (1) (1973 - 1981);
Saint-Killian (1978 - 1998);
Saint-Patrick (2) (1982 - 1998);
Normandy (1998 - 2007).
|Summer Frequency||Up to two weekly crossings each way|
|Winter Frequency||Up to three weekly crossings each way|
Epsilon is to be replaced on this service by a new luxurious purpose-built ferry by 2018.
|CHERBOURG-EN-COTENTIN - DUBLIN (2014 onwards)|
|Main Ship||Epsilon (2014 - 2018)|
|Future Ship||Under construction (Beginning 2018)|
|Summer Frequency||One weekly crossing at week ends|
|Winter Frequency||One weekly crossing at week ends|
In 1995, Irish Ferries opened a route between Roscoff and Rosslare, with some services who used to end at Cork. This route has initially been operated by Saint-Killian and Saint-Patrick (2), replaced in 1998 by Normandy. The service has been operated since 2008 by Oscar Wilde.
|ROSCOFF - ROSSLARE (1995 onwards)|
|Main Ship||Oscar Wilde (2008 onwards)|
Saint-Killian (1995 - 1997);
Saint-Patrick (2) (1995 - 1997);
Normandy (1998 - 2007).
|Summer Frequency||Up to two weekly sailings|
|Winter Frequency||No service|
Irish Ferries has been operating the Dublin - Holyhead line since the delivery of Isle of Inishfree (2) in 1995. She was replaced in 1997 by Isle of Inishmore. In 1999, Irish Ferries established a high speed service on the route, using Jonathan Swift.
In 2000, Irish Ferries was delivered Ulysses, one of the bigger ship in terms of garage capacity in service in Europe. Due to a growth in the route's traffic, Irish Ferries introduced Epsilon on the route at week days. The Dublin - Holyhead service is the most important route in Irish Ferries' business.
|DUBLIN - HOLYHEAD (1995 onwards)|
Epsilon (2014 onwards)
Jonathan Swift (1999 onwards)
Ulysses (2000 onwards)
|Other Ship||Isle of Inishmore (2) (2000 onwards)|
Isle of Inishfree (2) (1995 - 1997);
Isle of Inishmore (2) (1997 - 2000).
|Crossing Time||2 hours (High Speed Service); 3h30 (Conventional Ferries)|
|Summer Frequency||Up to six daily crossings each way|
|Winter Frequency||Up to six daily crossings each way|
The Rosslare - Pembroke Dock route has initially been established by B+I Lines. Irish Ferries took over the route in 1997 when they introduced on it Isle of Inishfree (2), replacing Isle of Inishmore (1). Isle of Inishmore (2) has been operating the route since 2000.
|ROSSLARE - PEMBROKE DOCK (1997 onwards)|
|Main Ship||Isle of Inishmore (2) (2000 onwards)|
|Other Ship||Oscar Wilde (2008 onwards)|
Isle of Inishmore (1) (1993 - 1997);
Isle of Inishfree (2) (1997 - 2000).
|Summer Frequency||Two daily sailings|
|Winter Frequency||Two daily sailings|