Displaying items by tag: Stena Line
#FerryAward – Stena Line was voted top ferry company for a record 21st year at the annual Northern Ireland Travel and Tourism Awards.
The 'Best Ferry Company' award was presented at a glittering awards ceremony last month in Newcastle, Co. Down.
Mervyn McNeely, one of the industry's most popular and charismatic characters, who retired last month from Stena Line after 40 years in the ferry industry, was inducted into the Travel Industry's Roll of Honour.
Northern Ireland Travel News has been organising the awards for the past 22 years and this year's ceremony was hosted by TV personality Les Dennis with more than 450 VIPs from the local travel and tourism industry attending.
Paul Grant, Route Manager for Stena Line – Irish Sea North, said: "This has been a busy year for Stena Line as since acquiring the Belfast-Liverpool route in 2010, we have been working on bringing the ships and service into line with the rest of the Stena Line proposition so it is a real honour to pick up this prestigious award in recognition of this work.
"We successfully completed the two ship refurbishments earlier this year and with improved facilities and additional services we can now offer our customers the same experience travelling the Irish Sea, whether they are going by Superfast from Belfast to Cairnryan or Supercruise from Belfast – Liverpool," he said.
"The travel industry is used to seeing innovation and high levels of customer service so when they say once again that we are the Best Ferry Company it underscores that the high standards we set ourselves lead the industry," Paul continued.
"I'm also delighted we have a double reason to celebrate as travel industry stalwart, Stena Line's Mervyn McNeely was inducted into the Roll of Honour.
"This is a fantastic and very well-deserved achievement for Mervyn who has retired after an incredible 40 years of service to the industry and I want to pass on my personal thanks to Mervyn for his work within Stena Line," he added.
The 114-trailer capacity freight ferry Stena Hibernia will be introduced onto the route from 5 November and will initially operate eight sailings per week. These additional sailings will depart Birkenhead Tues – Fri (at 0300hrs) and will depart Belfast Tues – Fri (at 1500hrs).
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Stena Line acquired the Belfast-Liverpool and Belfast-Heysham services from DFDS Seaways in July 2011and has since invested in increasing capacity and improving the service.
Paul Grant, Stena Line's Route Manager Irish Sea North said: "The freight market is showing signs of recovery and it's important that Stena Line adds capacity to accommodate the expected growth."
Stena Hibernia had previously served on the Belfast-Heysham route for Stena and also during DFDS operations. She was launched at a Japanese shipyard as Maersk Importer.
The ferry firm announced a review across the company's Europe-wide operations in April with up to 50 jobs under threat at Holyhead and Fishguard.
The company confirmed 21 workers faced redundancy and a consultation with staff and unions has started. It is understood 12 are in port handling operations and nine in finance.
Services on the Holyhead-Dublin and Holyhead-Dun Laoghaire routes are not expected to be affected.
For much more on this story, the Daily Post reports.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, sailings on the seasonal-only operated Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead route ceased earlier this month.
The Swede had established the ferry company which operates routes between Ireland and Britain and throughout Scandinavia.
Sten Allan Olsson was "one of Sweden's greatest entrepreneurs of all time", according to Stena Metall Group, and built up a group of companies that produced a total revenue of over 68,848,000,000 SEK (£6,833,577,088) in 2012.
The foundations were laid in 1939 and now the Olsson family empire, Stena Sphere, boasts three companies which span freighting, passenger ferries, recycling and international steel and oil trading.
The Olsson family still own the ferry firm in which his son Dan is the chairman of the ferry giant which as previously reported on Afloat.ie celebrated its 50th anniversary last year running routes stretching from the Irish Sea to the Baltic.
#Rail&Sail – A Welsh steam-engine still operating after 150 years on the Ffestiniog Railway in Snowdonia, crossed the Irish Sea yesterday and is to be put on display in Dublin's Heuston Station as part of the Gathering Ireland 2013, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The steam-engine 'Princess' built in 1868 comes only 30 years after Stephenson's Rocket.
The important cargo was shipped on board the Stena Adventurer on the Holyhead-Dublin Port route.
Princess is owned by the Ffestiniog Railway, the first narrow gauge railway in the world to use steam engines. The steam-locomotive was used to haul empty slate wagons between Porthmadog Harbour and the slate-quarrying town of Blaenau Ffestiniog, a distance of 13.5 miles.
The steam locomotive is only one of two in regular use out of a total of six built by George England of London and they represent the oldest surviving narrow gauge locomotives in the world.
The railway which was built with Irish investment all those year ago led to the apt invitation by Irish Rail in requesting the Ffestiniog Railway to display the restored Princess, which will be unveiled tomorrow in Heuston Station.
For the next six weeks commuters and visitors alike can view Princess in the railway station concourse so that so all can see the steam-locomotive in all her glory.
#FarewellHSS- A fast-ferry that served the Belfast-Stranraer route, which no longer exists, departed Belfast for the final time at the weekend. The ferry HSS Stena Voyager is bound for Sweden where she is to be scrapped, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The 19,000 tonnes Stena Voyager is under tow to the Öresundsvarvet shipyard in Landskrona, where she will be recycled by a subsidiary of the ferry company, Stena Recycling.
All of the vessels various components will be recycled, as far as is possible, to maintain the company's environmental reputation. Some of the materials will even be reused in the form of car parts or furniture.
Stena Voyager was displaced on the Northern Channel route in November 2011 following the change of Scottish port, from Stranraer at the end of the lough to Cairnryan which is closer to the open sea.
In addition a pair of conventional yet fast ro-pax 'Superfast' ferries were introduced bringing superior facilities coupled with greater freight capacity.
These factors combined with a shorter passage time between Belfast and Cairnryan and rising fuel costs over several years saw the writing on the wall for the HSS craft, which when introduced in the mid 1990's were the pride of the Stena Line fleet.
The Swedish ferry giant commissioned a trio of HSS (High Speed sea-Service) fast-craft, whose futuristic appearance and technology was adopted from the world of aviation that included gas-turbine engines to power water-jets producing up to 40 knots.
Stena Voyager carried 1,500 passengers and 375 cars and she was launched onto the North Channel route in 1996, since then the fast-craft has carried more than 17m passengers and over 45,000 sailings.
"Whilst the HSS class was a unique and highly innovative development for Stena Line, unfortunately the spiralling costs of operating the Stena Voyager have become all too high. When the Voyager was first put into service fuel was approximately $20 per barrel and now the price is around $110 dollar, for a fuel hungry vessel this is simply untenable," said Michael McGrath, Stena Line's Chief Operating Officer.
The first of the revolutionary craft was HSS Stena Explorer which currently maintains the seasonal-only Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead having been also introduced in 1996. Final member of the class was HSS Stena Discovery which served Harwich-Hook van Holland from 1997, however she was the first to go and now serves operators out of Venezuela.
The concept of the HSS craft were also to compete with air-travel on the short hop between Northern Ireland and Scotland. In tandem the HSS ran alongside older conventional ferries, among them Stena Caledonia, which was sold last year to Indonesian operator ASDP and renamed Port Link.
#SailingsCancelled – According to the Stena Line website, today's (Friday 22 March) HSS Stena Explorer fast-craft sailing departing at 13.30HRS from Dun Laoghaire to Holyhead has been cancelled.
All passengers en route to the port are advised to contact the Stena Line (24hrs) ferrycheck number (01) 204 7799 for the most up-to-date information about the sailings.
In addition to consulting information from this LINK.
Red Nose Day which celebrated its 25th anniversary this year was held last Friday and despite the economic climate, the charity fundraiser appeal raised a staggering £75m.
On board Stena ferries a host of fundraising activities took place including a range of specially created red nose muffins, sales of which along with other activities will go to Comic Relief.
Around the World the iconic images including the Pyramids of Giza and Leaning Tower of Pisa are to turn green this weekend for St Patrick's Day festivities.
Closer to home, Stena Line didn't want to turn green with envy so they turned out one of their Belfast-Birkenhead ferries to a shade of green instead... albeit with some imagination!
#HSSisBack–The HSS Stena Explorer fastcraft is back on the Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead route and Stena Line have a 'super spring sale' giving customers the opportunity to save up to 20% off its lowest fares.
The offer is available for travel up until 30 June from Dublin-Holyhead, Rosslare-Fishguard and on the Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead seasonal-only service.
Diane Poole Head of Stena PR and Communications said: "With Easter just around the corner and school holidays, we're offering customers the chance to enjoy a short break without breaking the bank".
The sale which starts with a lowest fare of €89* single (see web for T&A) for car and driver is now available every day of the week allowing people to save up to 20% on travel when they book by 28 February.
The HSS will operate one departure from Dun Laoghaire and Holyhead daily during this season, for information on the Spring sale and more visit: www.stenaline.ie/sale
#FerryBackUp – Freight ferry Stena Scotia (1996/13,017grt) docked in Dublin Port yesterday for 'berthing trials' and is to provide extra capacity for freight customers next week, writes Jehan Ashmore.
She is a replacement to the damaged chartered ferry Finnarrow, which as previously reported has since reached Scotland, with a tug berthing in Greenock.
The Dutch flagged Stena Scotia (capacity: 114 trailer units) will start freight-sailings next Monday (25 February) to Holyhead, where the 12-driver-accompanied vessel had called en-route yesterday also for berthing trials, having made an overnight passage from Belfast.
It was at the Anglesey port last weekend, where an incident involved the Finnarrow's stabilisers that led to cancelled sailings.
Stena Scotia will run in tandem with ro-pax Stena Adventurer (which takes passengers) on the Dublin route. There will also be additional passenger back-up with fastcraft HSS Stena Explorer sailings on the Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead route.
All passengers are advised to call Stena Line ferrycheck number 08705 755 755, for the most up-to-date information on sailings for 'foot' and those that are 'vehicle-only' by clicking this LINK.
The other regular Dublin route serving ro-pax Stena Nordica is as previously reported on refit cover on the North Channel and is expected to return to service on 19 March.
Stena Scotia (and sister 'Hibernia') had been lying idle in Belfast since September, having been replaced by larger chartered tonnage in the form of newbuild sisters, Stena Performance and Stena Precision.
The pair (from a quartet of newbuilds built last year) operate Stena's Belfast-Heysham freight service, following a short career starting off on the Irish Sea for operators Seatruck.
She has seen a succession of name changes in recent years, as Scotia Seaways under the navy blue colours of DFDS Seaways during a brief entry into the Irish Sea market in 2010.
Before that, she sported the pale blue livery scheme under Maersk / Norfolkline North Sea service as the Maersk Exporter completed in 1996.