Stena Line has announced details of a new addition to its northern corridor fleet. From early November 2009 the leading ferry company will introduce a third ship, the Stena Navigator, on its Stranraer to Belfast route. The vessel will cater for both passenger and freight traffic with a capacity of up to 1,500 passengers and up to 280 cars or 50 lorries. The addition of the vessel and an onboard upgrade programme that’s currently under way in Belfast Port represents a total investment in the route of over £6m.
Stena Navigator will be substantially upgraded and creates an opportunity to introduce a new “cruiseferry” concept, with substantial passenger areas and expanded free wifi and free films.
The introduction of the Stena Navigator will expand Stena Line’s current fleet of the HSS Stena Voyager and Stena Caledonia and provides the company with an opportunity to make a number of changes to its existing timetable which better reflect the needs of its customer base. It means Stena Line can now offer up to 14 crossings on the route each day.
Dermot Cairns, Stena Line’s general manager for travel on the Irish Sea, said, “The introduction of the Stena Navigator will give us the opportunity to provide our customers with an increased number of travel and timetable options. The additional capacity on the route will also enable us to expand in time for what we hope will be a more buoyant 2010.
“Whilst trading conditions remain challenging, Stena Line is confident about the future and is putting the necessary investment in place to ensure that it can leverage a competitive advantage when the economic upturn arrives. We will announce details of our revised timetable over the next few weeks.”
Over the last 10 years Stena Line has invested over £100m in its northern corridor route including the opening of a new £37m terminal at Belfast Port last June. At present a planning application to the Scottish Government to establish a similar facility to the north of Cairnryan is under consideration.