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Displaying items by tag: Stena Line

#StenaBelfast20th - This year marks twenty years since Stena Line took up its ferry services in Belfast and 2015 is to be the operators busiest year to date for car and freight numbers.

In the two decades since it moved to Belfast on this day in 1995, Stena Line has expanded its services significantly. Currently the company employs over 900 staff, transports 1.4 million passengers, 318 000 cars and almost 500 000 freight units annually.

When the ferry firm established its Belfast operation on 12th November 1995, it operated three ferries to one port in Scotland. (See recent ferry award for Belfast-Cairnryan). Today, that service has expanded to seven vessels operating year round services to Cairnryan, Birkenhead (Liverpool) and Heysham with a mix of freight and leisure traffic.

Stena Line has delivered some impressive numbers on its Belfast services over the last two decades including transporting 26 million passengers, 5.5 million cars and over 4 million freight units. But as Route Manager (Irish Sea North) Paul Grant states, behind the numbers it’s the quality and reliability of the service that has been the hallmark of Stena Line’s successful Belfast operation, commenting: “The opportunity to develop a significant presence in Belfast was always going to be based on how well we developed our customer offering. Today our modern fleet offers a range of quality facilities have helped to set the standard for travel on the Irish Sea including Spa facilities, exclusive Plus lounges, family suites and dedicated Freight Driver lounges. When these facilities are back up by award winning crews and market leading punctuality and reliability figures, the next two decades look equally as exciting.”

The company has also taken a positive view of the development of the local economy over the last two decades. Hans Nilsson, Stena Line’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) said: ”Stena Line and the Stena Group are long term supporters of Belfast. Over the last two decades alone, working in partnership with Belfast Harbour, we have invested over £330 million in establishing and developing our services to and from Belfast. In fact this week we will have an eighth Stena vessel in Belfast with the 117 000 ton ice-breaker series Stena Arctica undergoing a major refit at Harland & Wolff, further testimony of support for and confidence in the local Northern Ireland economy.”

A number of notable milestones over the last two decades in Stena Line's Irish Sea North have including the construction of a new £35 million VT4 terminal in Belfast in 2008. Three years later in 2011 the company established a new port and terminal facility at Loch Ryan Port (Cairnryan) adding two award winning Superfast vessels. In the same year it also acquired the Belfast-Liverpool/Heysham routes from DFDS.

Published in Ferry

#ScottishFerryAward- The best ferry operator award went to Stena Line at the Scottish Passenger Agents’ Association Travel Awards (SPAA) 2015, reports The Stornaway Gazette.

The ferry firm is the market leader on the Irish Sea, carrying approximately three million passengers on its UK-Ireland routes each year, more than its rival ferry operators combined.

SPAA, the world’s oldest travel organisation, holds the awards annually to recognise excellence in Scotland’s travel industry and Stena Line has received the best ferry operator accolade a number of times.

For more click the link to the regional newspaper here.

Published in Ferry

#BerthingTrials - Stena Superfast X made her first ever call to Dublin Port today, where berthing trials of the new Holyhead route ferry took place in the Irish capital, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The berthing trial-run at Ferry Terminal 2 saw the 1,200 passenger / 480 car capacity ferry complete the exercise before lunctime. She then departed for the return leg to her Wales homeport, where the 30,285 tons made her delivery voyage to Holyhead last week fresh from a major refit in Poland. 

She is to be named in Dublin Port next week at Berth 51, where a combined naming ceremony and official launch is to take place at that terminal. Superfast will partner the route's Stena Adventurer which too was named alongside Berth 51 in 2003, then the new two tier ro-ro ramp was also officially opened on that occasion.

With no fewer than 10 decks, Stena Superfast X will offer passenger facilities among them family lounges featuring X-Box stations. In addition, a dedicated lorry drivers lounge and almost 2kms of lane space to boost capacity for vehicles and freight traffic.

Stena Superfast X will make two return sailings daily, completing the crossing in 3 hours and 15 minutes. Together she and Stena Adventurer will operate 28 return sailings weekly.

The newcomer is the only Stena Irish Sea ferry to be registered in the Welsh capital, Cardiff. Unlike predecessor 'Nordica' (soon to be displaced) and Stena Adventurer are both registered in London.

Superfast X will join an existing pair of Stena's Irish Sea serving sisters, Superfasts VII and VIII which in 2011 entered between Cairnryan-Belfast, from where they are registered.

Published in Ferry

#ShipsSwap – Stena Nordica is due to leave the Dublin-Holyhead route next month in a swap that sees replacement 'Superfast X' which as previously reported had served on the Straits of Dover, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Stena Line are to transfer the outgoing 'Nordica' (see related report) to DFDS Seaways Dover-Calais route from where the newcomer Stena Superfast X had operated the UK-France link under the name Dieppe Seaways.

The 29,800 tonnes 'Superfast' ceased Straits of Dover sailings last November when a two-year charter from Stena Ro Ro had expired. She is to join the Dublin-Holyhead route's second ship Stena Adventurer in her new Irish Sea role.

The move is a consolidation and expansion of services by Stena Line out of Dublin Port following the announcement to close the neighbouring route from Dun Laoghaire to Wales.  

DFDS Seaways has confirmed that it will be adding the Nordica to the short-sea link following the ro-pax's final sailing for Stena scheduled on 8 March prior. In turn the Stena Superfast X is set to make her inaugural sailing in the early hours of the next day. 

The entry of Nordica will bring DFDS Seaways' France fleet back to five vessels since Dieppe Seaways stood down and went to layup in Dunkerque.

She is undergoing in Poland as reported on Afloat.ie a major refit and conversion by MacGregor at Romentowa's Nauta Yard in Gdynia.

Likewise the Nordica will be dry-docked for a refit and rebranding before joining the DFDS Seaways single route operated ferry, Calais Seaways. The 405 passenger newcomer is expected to be ready for business in the next couple of months.

Carsten Jensen, senior vice president at DFDS Seaways, commented: "We have been looking for a suitable fifth ship on our Dover-France routes to bring our Calais service back up to two vessels".

"The introduction of the Nordica, coupled with an engine upgrade on Calais Seaways, will help us restore a reliable daily service of up to 20 sailings between Dover and Calais, which is good news for our customers and good news for our loyal crew and operations teams too."

The newcomer is to serve the premier UK-continent link in which last month a case by the Competition Appeal Tribunal's ruling on the SCOP/Eurotunnel was welcomed by DFDS Seaways.

Published in Ferry

#StenaSuperfastX – Stena Line's announcement last week to consolidate its Dublin-Holyhead route and close Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead HSS services, will be manifested by the debut of 'Superfast X' to Dublin Port in early March, writes Jehan Ashmore.

According to the operator's UK website, Stena Superfast X is to make her first sailing as the route's 'flagship' from Dublin Port to Holyhead in the early hours of Monday 9 March.

The Superfast X at 29,800 tonnes will directly replace the Stena Nordica.  The larger newcomer will  join the route's other existing second ship, Stena Adventurer of 44, 000 tonnes.

By introducing Superfast X, the ferry with a 1,200 passenger capacity compares starkly to Nordica which only handled 400. In addition freight capacity will be 2kms of lane metres.

In order to achieve these loading capabilities, work on Superfast X as previously reported by Afloat.ie, are reaching the final phases of a major refurbishment and internal reconfiguration by MacGregor.

This will see facilities for passenger space quadruple as decks eight, nine and most of deck 10 are exclusively for guests instead of the confined single deck facilities found on Stena Nordica.

The works on Superfast X, previously Dieppe Seaways, that ran DFDS Seaways Dover-Calais services are been carried out by MacGregor in association with the Romentowa shipyard in Gydnia, Poland.

This yard on the Baltic Sea is not to be confused with another Romentowa facility in the neighbouring port of Gdansk, where a further pair of 'Superfast' sisters, were extensively converted into Stena's Superfast VII and VIII. For a previous related report, click HERE. 

Following radical refits, the transformed pair where launched in 2011 on the new Belfast-Cairnryan route, following the closure of the Scottish port of Stranraer.

Nordica's is scheduled to make her final sailing from Holyhead on Sunday 8 March, by arrival late at night into Dublin Port. 

As mentioned above, the inaugural Superfast X sailing is scheduled to take over from Nordica's sailing roster during a transition in the Irish port.

Published in Ferry

#FerryDryDocking – Stena Europe (1981/24,828grt), the Rosslare-Fishguard ferry is this morning bound for Belfast, where she is to be given an annual overhaul in a dry-dock at Harland & Wolff, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The operator, Stena Line have taken the 'Europe' off-service on the southern Ireland-Wales route until the dry-docking is scheduled to be completed on 18 February.

An alternative replacement service with Irish Ferries is available on the Rosslare-Pembroke Dock. Passengers with bookings for Stena Line are advised to contact the operator on 053 91 61567 if they haven't already done so, for further details visit HERE.

According to the Stena website, the first sailing after the replacement service will be the 02.30 Fishguard – Rosslare on 18 February.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Irish Ferries transferred yesterday the Isle of Inishmore to the Rosslare-Pembroke, her routine route and follows almost two months service on the Dublin-Holyhead route.

During Isle of Inishmore's second month on the Dublin route in January, she was off-service to undergo overhaul at Cammell Laird, Birkenhead.

Her return brings her fresh into service, as she has already completed an overnight round trip on the Pembroke route.

Published in Ferry

#RouteClosure - Stena Line has confirmed today a consolidation of its services from Holyhead to Dublin Port. This will see the closure of the neighbouring historic ferry service from the Welsh port to Dun Laoghaire Harbour. 

The company stated that it will be concentrating on expanding its existing ferry service at Dublin Port while at the same time confirming amid much speculation as previously reported on Afloat.ie that it is withdrawing its HSS Stena Explorer service from Dun Laoghaire Harbour. 

There has been a ferry service on this Irish Sea route for 170 years (since 1835).

Stena Line ceased the HSS fast-ferry operated summer season sailings as scheduled last September. However as previously reported, in November the operator made a surprise announcment in the cancellation of sailings over the Christmas and early New Year season.  

Ian Davies, Stena Line's Route Manager for Irish Sea South, said: "With two services operating approx. 10 miles apart we needed to make a decision in relation to what operation best serves the needs of our customers now and in the years ahead, and that operation is Dublin Port."

Stena Line has operated the HSS Stena Explorer into Dun Laoghaire since 1995 during which time the vessel has carried a mix of passengers, car and coach traffic. The Dun Laoghaire service was successful for several years following its introduction, carrying over 1.7 million passengers annually during its peak in 1998.

However, post the withdrawal of 'duty free' shopping, passenger and cars volumes declined dramatically and by 2014, less than 200,000 ferry passengers travelled through Dun Laoghaire Harbour. This represented a decline of over 90% in volume, making the route unsustainable.

During the same time period Stena Line has continued to make significant investment in larger better equipped vessels, and this, coupled with key improvements in road infrastructure and connectivity to Dublin, Belfast and further afield, has led to a significant uplift in both passenger and freight volumes through its evolving Dublin Port business.

Car and passenger volumes into Dublin Port overtook Dun Laoghaire as far back as 2008. Since then volumes through Dublin Port have continued to grow, as volumes through Dun Laoghaire have contracted thus providing Stena Line with a stark choice in relation to its future route network in the region.

Ian Davies added: "While we have enjoyed a very professional working relationship with Dun Laoghaire Harbour over many years, the economic realities of the current situation in relation to our business levels have left us with no choice but to close the service. Dublin continues to grow in importance, not only as the core freight port for Ireland but also as the key tourism gateway into Ireland."

"Ireland remains a strategically important region for us which is why Stena Line has invested over £250m across our Irish Sea business in the last five years alone. A number of economic indicators point to the continued recovery of the Irish and UK economies which has helped to stimulate renewed freight growth and returning tourism confidence in 2014. In 2014 we invested in a new Stena Line service to France from Rosslare and recently announced the arrival of the superferry Stena Superfast X into Dublin Port by late February."

Looking ahead, Stena Line is confident that this upward trend and to increasing its capacity on the Dublin Port service. The new vessel Superfast X  with space for up to 1, 200 passengers and 2 km of vehicle lane capacity will operate a year round sailing schedule.

#FerryMethanol – Classification society Lloyd's Register (LR) is set to class Sweden-based Stena Line's ferry Stena Germanica, claimed to be world's first methanol-powered sea vessel.

For the conversion of the 240m-long, 1,500-passenger Stena Germanica vessel to methanol propulsion, Stena has collaborated with Wärtsilä, the Port of Gothenburg, the Port of Kiel and Methanex Corporation, the world's largest methanol producer and supplier.

Five LR surveying teams from offices in Copenhagen, Trieste, Gothenburg, Venice and Southampton, have already overseen preliminary tests on a methanol-modified Wartsila engine 6ZAL40S that is similar to the one to be fitted on Germanica.

For more on this report visit: Ship-Technology.com

Published in Ferry

#RouteFuture? – There are growing fears that Stena Line may next year pull out of Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin, in a move that sources estimate could cost the harbour company €7 million, reports The Irish Times. 

Stena recently announced it would not run its (HSS) high-speed ferry service between Dún Laoghaire and Holyhead in Wales over Christmas for "commercial and operational reasons".

Concerns have since emerged that it intends to pull out of Dún Laoghaire altogether and will not next year resume the service it normally operates from the port during the summer.

When Stena said it would not operate the Christmas holiday service, it noted it was in talks with the south Dublin harbour company in relation to providing the summer service next year.

Both sides say those negotiations are continuing. It is understood they are due to meet again for further talks in the near future.

Stena's withdrawal would be a major blow to Dún Laoghaire Harbour. Sources estimate that Stena's business is worth €7 million a year to the company, which lost €890,000 in 2013.

For more on this story, click HERE.

 

#StenaSailings – Stena Line's Belfast-Cairnryan sailings are according to their website operating albeit not to a full schedule, following an incident involving a ferry colliding at the Scottish port earlier this week, writes Jehan Ashmore.

As previously reported, Stena Line said no passengers or crew on board Stena Superfast VII were injured in the incident which they also cited was not weather related.

Some sailings however are cancelled and other remains in doubt. Those booked or intending to travel can contact Stena Line ferrycheck on 087 05 755 755 in addition to confirming latest sailing information in either direction, by clicking this link HERE

Of the North Channel route's two serving sisters, Stena Superfast VII on Tuesday had collided with the dock at Cairnryan, the £80m terminal at Loch Ryan Port which opened in 2011.

The 30,000 tonnes ferry had been making a scheduled docking procedure at the port when contact was made with the fenders. This resulted in the ship remaining moored at the terminal while a full inspection was carried out.

 

Published in Ferry
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Marine Science Perhaps it is the work of the Irish research vessel RV Celtic Explorer out in the Atlantic Ocean that best highlights the essential nature of marine research, development and sustainable management, through which Ireland is developing a strong and well-deserved reputation as an emerging centre of excellence. From Wavebob Ocean energy technology to aquaculture to weather buoys and oil exploration these pages document the work of Irish marine science and how Irish scientists have secured prominent roles in many European and international marine science bodies.

 

At A Glance – Ocean Facts

  • 71% of the earth’s surface is covered by the ocean
  • The ocean is responsible for the water cycle, which affects our weather
  • The ocean absorbs 30% of the carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere by human activity
  • The real map of Ireland has a seabed territory ten times the size of its land area
  • The ocean is the support system of our planet.
  • Over half of the oxygen we breathe was produced in the ocean
  • The global market for seaweed is valued at approximately €5.4 billion
  • · Coral reefs are among the oldest ecosystems in the world — at 230 million years
  • 1.9 million people live within 5km of the coast in Ireland
  • Ocean waters hold nearly 20 million tons of gold. If we could mine all of the gold from the ocean, we would have enough to give every person on earth 9lbs of the precious metal!
  • Aquaculture is the fastest growing food sector in the world – Ireland is ranked 7th largest aquaculture producer in the EU
  • The Atlantic Ocean is the second largest ocean in the world, covering 20% of the earth’s surface. Out of all the oceans, the Atlantic Ocean is the saltiest
  • The Pacific Ocean is the largest ocean in the world. It’s bigger than all the continents put together
  • Ireland is surrounded by some of the most productive fishing grounds in Europe, with Irish commercial fish landings worth around €200 million annually
  • 97% of the earth’s water is in the ocean
  • The ocean provides the greatest amount of the world’s protein consumed by humans
  • Plastic affects 700 species in the oceans from plankton to whales.
  • Only 10% of the oceans have been explored.
  • 8 million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean each year, equal to dumping a garbage truck of plastic into the ocean every minute.
  • 12 humans have walked on the moon but only 3 humans have been to the deepest part of the ocean.

(Ref: Marine Institute)

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