#DublinBay - As Afloat previously reported the recent arrival of Stena Carrier to Dun Laoghaire Harbour was a surprise to many an onlooker as the imposing vessel towered above Carlisle Pier, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Stena Carrier is the largest ever ro-ro (freight-ferry) ship to enter Dun Laoghaire Harbour having anchored in Dublin Bay for over a week.
The call to the harbour was to permit carrying out surveys of the 182m long vessel. Furthermore, Afloat can reveal that works also involved the ro-ro's landing gear and the loading of stores at Carlisle Pier (see related story). The ship remains in port apparently awaiting a new charter.
The 2004 Italian built '4Runner' class Stena Carrier is operated by Stena RoRo, part of the Stena group of shipping interests and not to be confused with their ferry division Stena Line.
At 21,000 gross registered tonnage Stena Carrier surpasses the no-longer in service 19,000grt High-Speed Service (HSS) Stena Explorer. The HSS car-carrying catamaran craft operated the Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead fastferry seasonal route until a final crossing from the Irish port took place from St. Micheal's Pier (see related story) in September 2014.
In the following year, Stena officially announced to confirm the service be withdrawn and that the HSS would no longer return that season. This marked the end of the historic Ireland-Wales link dating back for more than 150 years. The move saw Stena consolidate existing services in neighbouring Dublin Port where operations to Holyhead are served by two ferries.
The Stena Carrier's location alongside Carlisle Pier is opposite to the East Pier where the harbour's only passenger carrying operator is Dublin Bay Cruises. They advertise the cruises as the 'Howth Ferry' with a sign placed at the beginning of the East Pier.
From the pier's jetty is where the 96 passenger capacity St. Bridget embarks and disembarks those travelling on trips. The vessel is not strictly a ferry, given it is not used by commuters but is based on excursion work. This involves a network of cruise leg options linking the capital port and both harbours.
Prior to the arrival of Stena Carrier, the ro-ro vessel in recent weeks was on charter to P&O Ferries on their Dublin-Liverpool service.
The ships's port of registry is Frederikshavn in Denmark. This is where Stena Line operate a short sea link (3.5hrs) to Gothenburg, Sweden. The west coast Swedish city is where Stena RoRo and the ferry operator's headquarters are based.