LEADING ferry company Stena Line has announced that Stena Estrid, the first of its three new ferries destined for the Irish Sea, has successfully completed her sea trials in China’s Yellow Sea.
Following three days of extensive testing, the new vessel performed excellently across a wide range of stringent test criteria and is now on schedule to start operating on the Dublin to Holyhead route in early 2020.
Stena Estrid is the first of five new Stena Line next generation RoPax vessels that are being constructed at the AVIC Weihai Shipyard in China, three of which will be introduced on the company’s Irish Sea routes from Dublin to Holyhead and Belfast to Liverpool.
Sister ship 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.
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 (*details below).
The sea trials are designed to ensure that all systems are fully operational and in line with strict specifications outlined by Stena Line, including areas such as engine performance and fuel consumption, navigation and radio equipment, emergency systems, speed tests, manoeuvrability, engine and thruster tests, and safety tests.
“Today the first of our five next generation ferries achieved a very important milestone” said Stena Line’s Paul Grant, Chief Commercial Officer, Irish Sea and North Sea.
“Sea trials are a critical phase in a new ship’s development, as our first opportunity to take a new vessel out to sea, put her through her paces and test that she is up to the high standards required by Stena Line.
“We systematically go through all aspects of the new ship and I am pleased to say that Stena Estrid has successfully completed every trial.
“We now look forward to the full handover of the vessel by the shipyard and to starting her journey to the Irish Sea,” he added.
Stena Line CEO Niclas Mårtensson said that the introduction of Stena Estrid and her sister ships reflected the company’s commitment to the Irish Sea.
“The Irish Sea is very important to Stena Line’s global business and represents a significant part of our overall revenue,” said Mr Mårtensson.
“We strongly believe that our ferry business on the Irish Sea will continue to grow and it remains a key region for the company, as evidenced by our continued investment and the addition of three new vessels, underscoring Stena Line’s commitment to our Irish Sea operations and our determination to deliver the best possible freight and travel experience to our customers.
“Stena Estrid will bring many benefits to our customers including speedy and efficient loading and unloading operations, plus further development of our Scandinavian-inspired facilities including our restful and bespoke Hygge Lounge and the latest upgrade of our premium product, the Stena Plus concept.
“This is a very exciting time for our business and I’m proud that as Europe’s largest ferry company, Stena Line continues to shape the industry for the next generation of freight and travel customers,” he concluded.
At 215 metres in length, Stena Estrid and her sister ships for the Irish Sea will be larger than today’s standard RoPax vessels and will provide freight capacity of 3,100 lane meters and the space to carry 120 cars and 1,000 passengers and crew.
Next up for Estrid is an official handover ceremony at the shipyard before she sets sail on the long journey from China to Holyhead.