Stena Line has purchased the two Superfast ferries from Tallink Grupp (Image: Stena Line)
Stena Line’s parent company has confirmed a multi-million pound investment package to acquire Superfast VII and Superfast VIII, which operate on its Cairnryan – Belfast ferry route from Scotland to Ireland.
Both ferries have been operating under a charter agreement with Finland-based Tallink Grupp since they were deployed on the Cairnryan – Belfast route when it opened in November 2011.
To date, the ferries have made a total of 23,000 trips and carried 6.4 million passengers, 1.4 million cars and one million freight units. Stena will take over formal ownership of the vessels in December 2017.
“We are delighted to confirm that we have now acquired the highly successful Superfast VII and VIII vessels,” said Paul Grant, Stena Line’s trade director (Irish Sea North). “Since their arrival, the ships have proved to be perfectly suited to our 2-hour-and-15-minute service between Cairnryan and Belfast, and appeal equally well to our freight and travel customer segments. Belfast is a key European business hub for Stena Line and this latest investment signifies Stena’s commitment to developing the region further in the years ahead.”
Stena’s acquisition plan is part of its Irish Sea development strategy, which also includes the construction of four new ferries at the AVIC Shipyard in China.