Ferry company brings in two of the biggest ships ever to work the
Northern Ireland – Scotland route.
Leading ferry company Stena Line today confirmed the addition of two new Superfast ferries on its service between Scotland and Northern Ireland in Autumn 2011 to coincide with the opening of its new £80m Loch Ryan Port at Cairnryan.
Sister ships Superfast VII and Superfast VIII will replace the HSS Stena Voyager, Stena Caledonia and Stena Navigator, which currently operate between the two countries.
The Superfast vessels, the biggest ships ever to operate on the Scotland-Northern Ireland route, will cater for both passenger and freight traffic. Each ship can carry up to 1,200 passengers, around 660 cars or 110 freight vehicles and will be able to complete the journey between Scotland and the heart of Belfast in 2 hours, 15 minutes.
For freight customers, the ships will be altered to allow for extra deck height to accommodate the trend for higher, more efficient freight units.
They each have a gross tonnage of 30,285 and are capable of travelling at 27 knots. The ships will be leased from Tallink, the Baltic Sea shipping group.
The introduction of the new ships to the route later this year will coincide with the opening of Stena Line’s purpose built £80M port facility at Loch Ryan Port, Cairnryan in Scotland, which will replace its current base at Stranraer.
Gunnar Blomdahl, Managing Director of Stena Line said: “This investment is another stage in Stena Line’s ongoing multi million pound investment program which aims to take the Stena Line fleet to the next level. I’m convinced that the changes on this route will be very positive for our customers between Scotland and Northern Ireland.”
Before the ships are deployed on the route both vessels will be given extensive refits to ensure that they deliver a great experience with new attractive onboard concepts for restaurants and public areas and as well as providing complete flexibility for freight operators. The upgrades will include the provision of extra deck height to cater for the trend towards higher vehicles and hauliers’ increased use of double-deck freight units.
Paul Grant, Route Director for Stena Line Scotland-Northern Ireland said: “The new ships will be the largest vessels ever to operate between Scotland and Northern Ireland and will provide Stena Line with increased operational efficiency by replacing three ships with two. The unique combination of speed, capacity, increased deck height, great onboard facilities and modern ports at each end of the journey will greatly enhance the ferry travel experience for all our customers. We have a commitment at Stena Line to do travel differently, we call it Making Good Time. Modern travel doesn’t have to be stressful, it can also be fun and enjoyable.”
NOTE TO EDITOR:
For further information please contact Fiona Brown at Duffy Rafferty Communications on Belfast +44 (0) 28 9073 0880.