Stena Line’s large ropaxes, ’Stena Hollandica’ and ‘Stena Britannica’, have completed a €1 mill refit to provide new on board facilities.
The North Sea vessels, that sail twice daily between the UK port of Harwich and Hoek van Holland, in The Netherlands, were drydocked in Antwerp’s EDR Shipyard to undergo their regular annual maintenance.
While they were in dock, they also received new additions to the on board services on offer for passengers.
Duty Free sales on routes to the UK have been booming since Brexit, with on board spend per passengers increasing by 118% in 2021.
To cater for this huge demand, Stena Line has added an additional Duty Free shop to each vessel, extending the retail floor space on both ships by 40%.
This allows the company to increase not only the capacity of goods on sale, but also extend the range of products on sale by almost a third. North Sea customers can save up to 50% off UK high street prices.
Dog ownership has also been booming during the Pandemic and as a result, more people than ever travelling with dogs. For the first time on the North Sea, Stena Line is offering dog-friendly cabins.
Some 15 of the vessel’s 500 cabins have been converted to allow passengers to travel with dogs. Dog-friendly cabins were being requested through the company’s satisfaction surveys.
Meanwhile, for those passengers that enjoy the wide selection of on board facilities, the vessels two Barista Bars have received a new Scandinavian look and feel.
Each of the vessels top of the range Captain’s Suites have also been refurbished.
Erik Thulin, Trade Director for the North Sea, said: “Our annual drydocking programme is key to keeping our vessels ship-shape and continue looking so good. It also allows us to be flexible in responding to our customers’ demand, so we’ve taken the opportunity to extend our on board Duty Free offer, to provide for more products and more bargains for our customers.
“We are also pleased to offer our first ever dog-friendly cabins. We listened to our many customers who have requested this option and they can now have up to three dogs with them in each of our 15 dog-friendly cabins. We looking to forward to welcoming all our customers, including out four-legged friends back on newly refurbished vessels on the North Sea,” he said.
The ropaxes are 240 m in length and 32 m beam, and each have over 5 km of vehicle lanes, allowing each ship to carry 300 trucks and 230 cars and 1,200 pax, looked after by 85 crew.
At 63,000 gt, they are the largest vessels currently operating in Stena Line’s fleet.