Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

Stena Line Deployment of ‘Superfast X’ Remains Tight Lipped

4th November 2014
Stena Line Deployment of ‘Superfast X’ Remains Tight Lipped

#StenaSuperfastX Furthermore to a previous report over rumours that Stena Line are to deploy the Stena Superfast X onto the Dublin-Holyhead route in early 2015, following conversion work contracted to MacGregor, Afloat.ie has contacted the ferry company to comment, writes Jehan Ashmore.

MacGregor, part of Cargotec Corporation announced that they received a contract from Stena to convert the 29,800gt ropax ferry (currently named Dieppe Seaways) to optimise it for its new route between Dublin and Holyhead.

In response Peter Arvidsson Director Network & Fleet at Stena Line said "Although it is correct that MacGregor has been appointed by Stena RoRo to return the vessel to its original configuration, where the vessel will be deployed is currently a matter for ongoing discussion. From Stena Line's perspective it is possible that the Superfast X will be used within the Stena Line network or she may be chartered to a third party operator, but no decision has yet been taken".

It is understood that work is to begin once the charter of Dieppe Seaways running for DFDS Seaways Dover-Calais service ceases this month.

MacGregor's is to return the ro-pax ferry to its original configuration as dictated by expected requirements. This will involve the delivery of ro-ro cargo access equipment, including the design and installation of bow doors, a bow ramp, a new watertight door and a stern ramp.

Should the 'Superfast X' be introduced on the important Dublin-Holyhead route, she would provide an increase in passenger and freight capacity on the central corridor link. In addition she would be a closer match to the route's ro-pax Stena Adventurer, though not her running mate, the smaller Stena Nordica.

Stena Line's other Dublin Bay service from Dun Laoghaire to Holyhead has operated its fourth consecutive summer-only season which ended in early September. The route is served by the fuel thirsty and expensive to operate HSS Stena Explorer.

In efforts to stave off steep rise in fuel costs in recent years on the loss making route, Stena Line have reduced HSS sailings to a single daily round trip and increased crossings times from 99 minutes to 2 hours 20 minutes.

In response to Afloat.ie on the future of Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead route? Stena Line commented that the HSS is scheduled to return for the Christmas period (as previously reported) and is also scheduled for seasonal service 2015.

 

Published in Ferry
Jehan Ashmore

About The Author

Jehan Ashmore

Email The Author

Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

We've got a favour to ask

More people are reading Afloat.ie than ever thanks to the power of the internet but we're in stormy seas because advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. Unlike many news sites, we haven’t put up a paywall because we want to keep our marine journalism open.

Afloat.ie is Ireland's only full–time marine journalism team and it takes time, money and hard work to produce our content.

So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

If everyone chipped in, we can enhance our coverage and our future would be more secure. You can help us through a small donation. Thank you.

Direct Donation to Afloat button

Ferry & Car Ferry News The ferry industry on the Irish Sea, is just like any other sector of the shipping industry, in that it is made up of a myriad of ship operators, owners, managers, charterers all contributing to providing a network of routes carried out by a variety of ships designed for different albeit similar purposes.

All this ferry activity involves conventional ferry tonnage, 'ro-pax', where the vessel's primary design is to carry more freight capacity rather than passengers. This is in some cases though, is in complete variance to the fast ferry craft where they carry many more passengers and charging a premium.

In reporting the ferry scene, we examine the constantly changing trends of this sector, as rival ferry operators are competing in an intensive environment, battling out for market share following the fallout of the economic crisis. All this has consequences some immediately felt, while at times, the effects can be drawn out over time, leading to the expense of others, through reduced competition or takeover or even face complete removal from the marketplace, as witnessed in recent years.

Arising from these challenging times, there are of course winners and losers, as exemplified in the trend to run high-speed ferry craft only during the peak-season summer months and on shorter distance routes. In addition, where fastcraft had once dominated the ferry scene, during the heady days from the mid-90's onwards, they have been replaced by recent newcomers in the form of the 'fast ferry' and with increased levels of luxury, yet seeming to form as a cost-effective alternative.

Irish Sea Ferry Routes

Irrespective of the type of vessel deployed on Irish Sea routes (between 2-9 hours), it is the ferry companies that keep the wheels of industry moving as freight vehicles literally (roll-on and roll-off) ships coupled with motoring tourists and the humble 'foot' passenger transported 363 days a year.

As such the exclusive freight-only operators provide important trading routes between Ireland and the UK, where the freight haulage customer is 'king' to generating year-round revenue to the ferry operator. However, custom built tonnage entering service in recent years has exceeded the level of capacity of the Irish Sea in certain quarters of the freight market.

A prime example of the necessity for trade in which we consumers often expect daily, though arguably question how it reached our shores, is the delivery of just in time perishable products to fill our supermarket shelves.

A visual manifestation of this is the arrival every morning and evening into our main ports, where a combination of ferries, ro-pax vessels and fast-craft all descend at the same time. In essence this a marine version to our road-based rush hour traffic going in and out along the commuter belts.

Across the Celtic Sea, the ferry scene coverage is also about those overnight direct ferry routes from Ireland connecting the north-western French ports in Brittany and Normandy.

Due to the seasonality of these routes to Europe, the ferry scene may be in the majority running between February to November, however by no means does this lessen operator competition.

Noting there have been plans over the years to run a direct Irish –Iberian ferry service, which would open up existing and develop new freight markets. Should a direct service open, it would bring new opportunities also for holidaymakers, where Spain is the most visited country in the EU visited by Irish holidaymakers ... heading for the sun!

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Car Brands

subaru sidebutton

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton
ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Events 2020

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
viking sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
sellingboat sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating