The new vessel will have a capacity for 1,000 passengers, 120 cars and have 3,100 freight lane metres (Image: Stena Line)
Ferry operator Stena Line has confirmed that the first of its new ro-pax ferries, which is currently under construction at China’s AVIC Shipyard, will enter service on the Irish Sea routes in early 2020.
The new vessel will have a capacity for 1,000 passengers, 120 cars and have 3,100 freight lane metres. She will provide four daily sailings between Dublin in the Republic of Ireland and Holyhead, Wales, with an estimated crossing time of 3.5 hours.
“We are delighted that Stena Line has chosen Dublin as the location for its next generation of ro-pax vessels in what is a significant investment in and enhancement of Ireland’s premier freight and tourism gateway,” said Eamonn O’Reilly, CEO of Dublin Port Company. “We look forward to welcoming the new vessel and the associated benefits it will bring to Dublin Port and the Irish economy.”
The newbuild is part of a series of six Stena E-Flexer ro-pax ferries that Stena ordered from AVIC shipyard in 2017. Three will sail on Stena Line´s Irish Sea routes and the remaining three will be chartered out to external parties by Stena Line’s sister company Stena RoRo. One will be chartered to DFDS for use on its routes between the UK and France from 2021, while another will be built to run on LNG fuel and join Brittany Ferries’ fleet in 2021.
“The deployment of three new vessels is a tangible example of our strategic growth plan for the Irish Sea,” said Niclas Mårtensson, CEO of Stena Line. “I’m delighted to confirm that the first of our new vessels will be deployed on the Dublin – Holyhead service planned for early 2020. Furthermore, I can also confirm that two other vessels will be assigned to our Belfast – Liverpool service planned for spring of 2020 and early 2021.”
The new vessels are being built in line with Stena Line’s focus on sustainability and digitisation with the aim of providing improved efficiency, flexibility and customer service.
“Our new ro-pax ferries will be among the most energy efficient in the world with significantly lower carbon dioxide emissions per freight unit against comparable ro-pax tonnage,” said Mårtensson. “Our aim is to lead the shipping industry in sustainability and digital development and set new industry standards when it comes to operational performance and emissions. The vessels will run on traditional fuel but are designed to the class notation ‘gas ready’ and are also prepared for catalytic scrubbers, thus giving us increased flexibility for the future. We are also placing heavy emphasis on developing a range of exciting new digital features which will provide our customers with unique additional services connected with their journey as well as developing a new, integrated digital onboard experience.”
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