UK/Netherlands ropaxes upgraded

2024-03-27T19:25:09+00:00 March 27th, 2024|Refurbishment|

Stena Line has carried out a major refurbishment project on its large ropaxes, ’Stena Britannica’ and ’Stena Hollandica’.

The upgrade, which took 18 days per ship, includes new restaurant and bar options, modern and refreshed seating areas, and increased passenger capacity.

In addition, the ships’ renovation is another step forward in Stena Line’s ambition to reduce its CO2 emissions by 2030 – based on its 2019 levels.

The sister ships, which operate on the Harwich/Hook of Holland route connecting England to the Netherlands, are among the largest ferries in the world.

A team of 360 people per day successfully completed the project. During the period in drydock, the ships had their underwater hulls fully blasted and painted with a specialised coating to reduce friction and passenger seating areas were upgraded and rearranged to increase capacity.

Based on feedback from passengers, the recent changes were designed to better align the service with their needs and were specifically focused on the areas where guests spend most of their time.

For example, the former à la carte restaurant was replaced by a new Stena Plus Lounge seating more than 100 people. For a £25 surcharge, guests can access the spacious lounge, which includes a variety of complimentary drinks and snacks.

For young families, a new space was created: the Family Hub, with a range of entertainment for all ages. In addition, the smaller, cramped areas at the stern of the ship were removed, such as the cinema, meeting room and café, freeing up space for the more open and modern ‘Social Bar & Café’.

Stena also installed SpaceX Starlink satellite technology on both ships, providing access to a faster and more stable connection during the crossing.

Each ship’s underwater hull was blasted and given a new coat of silicone paint. The paint, which is free of biocides, prevents organisms, such as algae from sticking to the hull thus keeping it smooth.

This ensures less water resistance during a crossing, which will result in annual fuel saving of around 780,000 litres. Per ship, this amounts to a reduction of about 2,500 tonnes of CO2 per year. Another benefit is that the silicone paint coating lasts for eight years instead of the usual two years.

As well as the savings achieved by using the silicone paint, each ship’s propellers were polished, which reduces water friction resulting in less drag and, therefore, more efficient energy use.

Erik Thulin, Trade Director, Stena Line, said: “With the modernisation of our two ships, we are investing in our services and aim to provide our passengers with an even better travel experience.

“The renovation is the result of more than a year’s planning with a particular focus on sustainability to support our ambition to reduce our carbon emissions by 30% by 2030.

“As well as refurbishing and reusing our existing furniture, many lights have been replaced by energy saving LED lights and we are now using sustainable disinfectant electro-chemical activation (ECA) water, instead of chemicals, to clean as many areas as possible. This cleaning product is generated by water, electricity and salt producing a natural disinfectant.

“We have removed all single-use plastic and cardboard and the restaurant has switched from a buffet to plate service to minimise food waste,” he said.