The first of five next generation Stena Line RoPax vessels to be completed at the AVIC Weihai Shipyard in China, the Stena Estrid has started service this month (January 2020) on the Holyhead to Dublin route.

David Holderness, Stena Line’s Freight Commercial Manager (Irish Sea South), said: “The Holyhead-Dublin service is one of the most strategically important commercial links between Britain and Ireland which is why we made the business decision to operate Stena Estrid on this route.”

The company believes that the new vessels will offer significant benefits for freight customers in the UK and Ireland as the ferries were designed and built with their particular requirements in mind.

For example, at 215 metres in length, Stena Estrid will provide deck space of 3100 lane meters, an increase of more than 50% in freight capacity compared to her predecessor Stena Superfast X.

In addition, the clear and unobstructed drive-through decks, with two-tier/double lane access, will bring speedier loading and disembarkation and more efficient turn-rounds.

Mr Holderness highlighted that, with 5.2 metre height on both main decks, Stena Estrid has full capability to carry high vehicles while her open deck space allows a good mix of hazardous loads and units with the requirement to keep fridge motors running.

For units requiring electrical connection there are ample plug-in points for both 440v and 230v supplies.

The new vessel should also be popular with lorry drivers as, as well as two movie lounges with three 65” screens in each, it offers a dedicated and entirely separate 170-seat Truckers Lounge with six 55” television screens.

Looking ahead, the company expects the Stena Edda to commence operations from Liverpool to Belfast in spring 2020, with a third vessel, the Stena Embla, to be introduced on the same route in early 2021.

The arrival of these two ships will increase freight capacity on the Liverpool to Belfast route by 20%, Mr Holderness concluded.

Last reviewed 13 January 2020