Stena Line will introduce two giant ships that will carry up to 1200 passengers later this year to coincide with the launch of its new Belfast-Cairnryan route in November.
The identical ‘sister’ ships Stena Superfast VII and Superfast VIII, which will be the biggest ferries ever to sail between Northern Ireland and Scotland, will undergo a refit programme at the Remotova shipyard in Poland.
(Caption: Stena Line route director Paul Grant (right) and Jonathan Guest, of MJM Marine, review plans for the refurbishment of the two giant ships for the new Cairnryan-Belfast route launching in November.)
Stena Line has appointed specialist marine outfitters MJM Marine from Newry to fit out the new ships to the highest standards. The company claims the programme will ensure that they are ‘the most modern, comfortable and best designed ferries ever to ply the Irish Sea’.
The new purpose built port and terminal that will be launched in November at Cairnryan in Scotland will cut passengers journey time significantly, according to Stena.
Speaking about the service, Paul Grant, Stena Line’s Route Director, said: “It will be a huge milestone for this service and the culmination of an ongoing investment programme which started with the construction of our new terminal at VT4 in Belfast back in 2008.
“The combination of the new port and ships will enable Stena Line to reduce the journey time to 2 hours 15 minutes and will provide a level of quality, comfort and facilities never before seen on the Irish Sea.
“The ship layout will also be changed to accommodate our freight customers and I’m delighted to say that for the first time on the route, there will be no deck height restrictions, which means that we can accommodate virtually any load our freight customers have.” concluded Mr Grant.
Built in Germany in 2002, the new Stena Superfast vessels will accommodate 1200 passengers, 660 cars or 110 freight units and will operate up to 12 daily departures between Belfast and Stena Line’s new port at Cairnryan, all year round.