(16 January 2020) AFTER more than six years’ in planning and construction, Stena Line’s newest ferry Stena Estrid started service this week on the Irish Sea.
Operating on the Holyhead to Dublin route, Stena Estrid braved the elements of Storm Brendan to complete her maiden voyage on Monday, receiving a traditional maritime water cannon salute on arrival at Dublin Port before reloading and making her way back to Wales.
Described as one of the most modern ferries in the world, Stena Estrid will make two daily return trips on the route, with scheduled departures as below:
A crossing time of three hours and 15 minutes is barely enough time for passengers to check out the range of excellent facilities on board, including Estrid’s spectacular Sky Bar, two Happy World children’s play areas, a relaxing Hygge reclining lounge, Stena Plus lounge, two movie lounges, bigger Truckers lounge, Taste restaurant, and a bigger better shopping experience.
Ian Davies, Stena Line’s Trade Director (Irish Sea South), said: “This has been a very significant week, not just for Stena Line but for the future of ferry travel on the Irish Sea, as we welcomed Stena Estrid to her new home on the Irish Sea. Despite the best efforts of Storm Brendan Stena Estrid was able to fulfil her maiden voyage commitment albeit slightly delayed due to severe weather conditions on the Irish Sea. I think this demonstrated not only the quality and reliability of the new vessel but also, importantly, the expertise of the Captain and crew on board.
“The introduction of Stena Estrid on the Holyhead to Dublin route is the result of a very significant investment that reflects our commitment to this extremely important region – a commitment that will ultimately see three of the world’s most modern ferries operating between Ireland and Britain.
“I’m proud that Stena Line continues to shape the industry for the next generation of freight and travel customers, for whom we are determined to deliver the best possible service. Stena Estrid enables us to do this with more efficient loading and unloading operations, increased freight capacity and the best Scandinavian quality, style and design in our facilities -in an onboard environment that is spacious and light, with amazing panoramic views,” he added.
“The Captain and crew have all been wowed by the new ship and we know that all our customers travelling between Dublin and Holyhead on Estrid this week have been equally impressed,” concluded Mr Davies.
Stena Estrid is the first of three new next generation ferries that will operate on the Irish Sea as part of a multi-million-pound investment by Stena Line in the region. Sister ship Stena Edda is expected to commence operations from Liverpool to Belfast this spring, with a third vessel Stena Embla to be introduced on the same route in early 2021.
At 215 metres in length, Stena Estrid is one of the most advanced vessels in operation and larger than today’s standard RoPax vessels, with space to carry 120 cars and 1,000 passengers, and a freight capacity of 3,100 lane meters, meaning a 50 per cent increase in freight tonnage.
STENA ESTRID FACTS
The name Estrid is connected to Stena Line’s Scandinavian heritage. It is an Old Norse eastern-Nordic version of the name Astrid. Estrid is commonly found on old runestones and means ‘divinely beautiful’.
|Builder||AVIC Weihai Shipyard Co (Weihai, China)|
|Ferry route / homeports||Dublin-Holyhead|
|Speed||22 kn / 41 kph / 25 mph|
|Length (LOA)||215 m / 705 ft|
|Beam (width)||28 m / 92 ft|
|Gross Tonnage||41,671 gt|
Stena Line is the largest ferry operator on the Irish Sea, offering the biggest fleet and the widest choice of routes between Britain and Ireland including Holyhead to Dublin, Fishguard to Rosslare, Cairnryan to Belfast, Liverpool to Belfast, and Heysham to Belfast routes, a total of 232 weekly sailing options. Stena Line also offers a direct service between Rosslare to Cherbourg with three return crossings a week.