Stena Line has announced it is to spend £1.8 million on revamping its Stena Caledonia conventional ferry. Work on the major makeover began on the 27th January at the Cammell Laird yard in Birkenhead and is due to be completed by February 12th.The Stena ship, which operates on the Stranraer-Belfast route, is to be given new features including a luxury Stena Plus lounge, a Barista coffee house/bar, a Curious George themed play area for kids and a new guest services desk.
Another major new feature set to be included on the ship is free Wi-Fi. Access to the wireless broadband is free of charge to passengers using their own laptop or PDA (personal digital assistant). The technology is supplied by satellite broadband to ensure uninterrupted coverage throughout the crossing. When passengers board they can simply ask for a Wi-Fi access card at guest services and then they can go online to work or play.
As part of the revamp, the restaurant on the vessel is to be refurbished and rebranded as Food City, while the décor and seating will be upgraded and extra seating will be added to the ship’s cinema. The onboard shop will be spruced up as well and there will be improved disabled/lift access from the car deck.
The accommodation upgrade on the Caledonia is to be carried out by County Down based company MJM.
Paul Grant, Route Manager for the Stranraer-Belfast Ferry, said the £1.8m project showed the company’s ongoing commitment to the route.
Mr Grant said: “The refurbished Caledonia will be an excellent alternative to our HSS fastcraft on the route. The Caledonia can travel between Scotland and Northern Ireland in under three hours and its new and improved facilities onboard will mean passengers can enjoy a relaxed journey in modern surroundings.”
Refits of two other Stena Line ships have also been completed at Cammell Laird this year. The Stena Leader had a £900,000 refit, while £1 million was spent on the Stena Pioneer. New accommodation for crew was added on the vessels, which both operate on the Fleetwood-Larne route.
The HSS Stena Voyager fastcraft meanwhile, which operates on the Stranraer-Belfast route had a £1.05 million refit at the Harland & Wolff yard in Belfast. Another Stena Line vessel, the HSS Explorer, was put into dry dock at Harland & Wolff in preparation for its annual refit, which will cost £1.1 million and is set for completion on February 10th. The ship operates between Holyhead and Dun Laoghaire.
The Belfast yard was also used back in November when the Stena Europe, which serves the Fishguard-Rosslare ferry route, was given a £750,000 overhaul.
About Stena Line:
Stena Line is the market leader on the Irish Sea, offering the biggest ferry fleet and the widest choice of routes between Ireland and Britain, including Belfast to Stranraer, Larne to Fleetwood, Dun Laoghaire and Dublin Port to Holyhead and Rosslare to Fishguard. The company carries over three million passengers on its Irish Sea routes each year, more than its rival operators combined.