Stena Line owned Stena Britannica, the largest UK-registered ferry, has completed a successful first sailing out of British waters after its recent voyage from Harwich. The Stena Britannica, the British-flagged ferry with the largest dimensions in terms of both volume and length, left Harwich for a six-hour crossing to the Hook of Holland at 09.00 on 10th October 2010.
At just over 64.000 gross tonnage, the North Sea Superferry is larger than any other under the British flag, including Stena Line’s own Stena Adventurer.
The Stena Britannica’s maximum length is 240m which dwarves other British-registered ferries and is 2.4 times the height of the Big Ben clock tower.
The new Superferry is also colossal in terms of her car capacity, which at 230 cars is the joint highest in Europe. Her cargo deck surface area is equivalent to that of three international FIFA standard football pitches.
Built with significantly higher capacity than her predecessor, the new Stena Britannica carries 39.6% more beds (now 1,376), 36.4% more freight units (now 300), 36.2% more cabins (now 538), 35.3% more cars (now 230) and 33.3% more passengers (now 1,200) than her forerunner.
Despite her size the ferry is also currently one of the most environmentally friendly operating out of the UK, thanks to catalytic converters; improved combustion engines; recycling systems for glass, cardboard and food and radiant heat-blocking solar film windows.
Lars Olsson, Stena Line’s commercial manager for travel on the North Sea, said, “Stena Line has spent three years and hundreds of millions of pounds to create the largest UK-registered ferry, and her sister vessel the Stena Hollandica, because we saw a real need for what we’re calling ‘the ferries of today for the passengers of the future’.
“This year so far we’ve seen 8% annual growth in the number of passenger sailing to Holland with us and transported 39% more coaches, so we’re witnessing a revival in British interest in ferry travel. Travellers appreciate the levels of comfort and value for money that our service offers and we need to be prepared for sustained growth and for the 2012 Olympic Games.
“The size of our Superferries will arm us for this, however we’ve also spared nothing on comfort, equipping both new Superferries to hotel-like levels, with free WiFi, wine bars, a la carte restaurants and Swedish-made luxury beds,” Olsson added.
The giant passenger-freight ferry joins the Stena Hollandica as the second of Stena Line’s two newly built Superferries, which represent a combined investment of over £375m and over three years’ construction. The Stena Britannica will be christened in Harwich on Tuesday 19 October 2010 by Susan Hammond, wife of the Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP, Secretary of State for Transport.