‘Stena Estrid’, the first of five vessels being built for Stena Line in China, has been handed over to the ferry company having successfully completed sea trials in China’s Yellow Sea.
Following three days of extensive testing, the new vessel was claimed to have performed excellently across a wide range of stringent test criteria and is now on schedule to start operating on the Dublin/Holyhead route in January, 2020.
“Today has been six years in the planning,” said Stena Line’s Technical Operations Director, Bjarne Koitrand at the handing over ceremony, “and we are delighted to finally take ownership of the first of our five new ships. With the new crew now in place, they can start the long journey to the Irish Sea, where ‘Stena Estrid’ will make her new home serving customers between Dublin and Holyhead.”
Stena Line CEO Niclas Mårtensson said that the delivery of ‘Stena Estrid’ marks the start of a very important few months for Stena Line’s Irish Sea operations:
“Taking ownership of ‘Stena Estrid’ is a major milestone for Stena Line,” said Mårtensson, “and is the result of a very significant investment in our Irish Sea operations that reflects our commitment to the region and will ultimately see three of the world’s most modern ferries operating between Ireland and Britain.
“A first-class customer experience is a priority for us, so we are determined to deliver the best possible freight and travel service to our customers. ‘Stena Estrid’ will provide a more environmentally sustainable way to travel with more efficient loading and unloading operations, increased freight capacity and the best Scandinavian quality, style and design in our facilities,” he added.
Part of a multi-million-pound investment in the region, the new Stena Line ships will be amongst the most advanced vessels in operation and larger than today’s standard ropax vessels.
At 215 m in length, ‘Stena Estrid’ will provide freight capacity of 3,100 lane meters, meaning a 50% increase in freight tonnage, and the space to carry 120 cars and 1,000 pax and crew.
Sistership ‘Stena Edda’ is due to commence operations from Belfast to Liverpool in spring 2020, with the third vessel ‘Stena Embla’ expected to be introduced on the same route in early 2021.