Stena Line’s Superfast VII ship has arrived at her new Loch Ryan Port home in Cairnryan in preparation for the opening of the new ferry route between Scotland and Northern Ireland on November 21st.
Superfast VII will be joined by her sister ship Superfast VIII at their new purpose built 27 acre Scottish port that will also encompass a brand new 1,500 square metre passenger and freight terminal. The ships will be the largest ever to sail between Scotland and Northern Ireland.
The new port, new route and new ships are part of a £200M rolling investment programme, one of largest route investments ever made by Stena Line, which also included the construction of a new Belfast Port and terminal facility that opened in June 2008.
Stena Line’s new Loch Ryan Port, Cairnryan is approximately seven miles north from its current home port of Stranraer and will commence scheduled services for freight and leisure customers on November 21st.
Paul Grant, Stena Line Route Director said: “When we start our new route timetable on November 21st, it will be from one of the most advanced ports in the UK. Loch Ryan Port is the culmination of years of planning by Stena Line and it will provide our customers with a world class facility. But the new port is only half the story. We will also be introducing two of the largest ships ever to have sailed between Scotland and Northern Ireland.
“Sister ships Superfast VII and Superfast VIII will complete the crossing in 2hrs 15mins with a level of comfort and range of facilities unrivalled on the Irish Sea. The new ships will even have their own Pure Nordic Spa which will include a Jacuzzi and sauna for use by Stena Plus customers. At 203 metres, the new ships have the capacity to accommodate 1 200 passengers, 660 cars or 110 freight units. The new ships have been reconfigured to ensure that our leisure and freight customers have both been catered for. Specifically with our freight customers in mind, we have ensured that the new Superfast ships have no height restrictions with over 5 metre clearance to ensure they can accommodate the largest freight units on UK roads.
“We are delighted that our new port has been designated a National Project by the Scottish Government and are currently working with the government to look at improvements to the road infrastructure to and from the port to help the new facility maximise its full potential in terms of overall journey times between Scotland and Northern Ireland,” he concluded.
Stena Line’s new Cairnryan to Belfast route will have 10 scheduled sailings per day between Scotland and Northern Ireland at launch rising to 12 from December 5th.