Stena Edda will enter service alongside Stena Estrid in 2020 to sail between Belfast and Liverpool (Image: Stena Line)
Swedish ferry operator Stena Line celebrated the float out of its second E-Flexer ship, Stena Edda, at the Avic Weihai Shipyard in China on 15 April. The new vessel will sail between Belfast, Ireland and Liverpool, England when it enters service in spring 2020.
Stena Edda will enter the fleet as part of Stena Line’s significant multi-million pound investment in the Irish Sea region. Avic has already constructed Stena Estrid, which will enter service in 2020 and will build a third yet-to-be-named ship which is expected for delivery in 2022.
Ceremony events took place at 1.18pm and 6pm (18:00) as the number 18 is associated with good fortune in China.
“It’s very exciting to follow the building process and this is another very important milestone in our rolling construction programme,” said Niclas Mårtensson, CEO of Stena Line. “This investment underscores our commitment to our operations on the Irish Sea and our determination to deliver the best possible freight and travel experience for our customers.
“This is a very exciting time for our business and I’m proud that as Europe’s largest ferry company, Stena Line continues help shape the industry for the next generation of freight and leisure passengers.”
At 215 metres long, all three of the Irish Sea vessels will be larger than standard ro-pax vessels, providing 3,100 lane metres of freight capacity and space to carry 120 cars and 1,000 passengers and crew. The new vessels have been designed in line with Stena Line’s commitment to sustainability, so they will be fuel efficient to reduce emissions.
“Stena Edda will deliver many benefits to our freight and travel customers including faster and easier loading/unloading with drive through decks and new port infrastructures,” said Paul Grant, director of Irish Sea North Trade at Stena Line. “Our latest design in cabins and further enhancement of our Scandinavian-inspired interiors will make these new ships the largest, most spacious and most comfortable ever to sail between Belfast and Liverpool.”
Stena Line has ordered two more E-Flexer ro-pax vessels that will be larger and deployed in 2022. At 240 metres long, they will have a freight capacity of 3,600 lane metres each and accommodate 1,200 passengers.
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