#MaidenSailing- Stena Superfast X, the new ferry on the Dublin Port-Holyhead route made her maiden commercial sailing this morning from Wales and completed the return leg to arrive in Anglesey this evening, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The introduction of the 1,200 pass/480 car Stena Superfast X fresh from a major refit comes in advance to tomorrow's (11 March) naming ceremony and official launch. This will be Stena Line's highest profile event on the central corridor Ireland-Wales route since Stena Adventurer made a debut in 2003.
By introducing a new ferry with four times the passenger capacity of her predecessor, Stena Nordica, this confirms Stena's commitment to consolidate all central Irish Sea operations out of Dublin Port to Holyhead.
Last month, Stena's decision over the future of the HSS fast-ferry Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead route in 2015 was finally confirmed with the permanent closure of the service. The historic 52-nautical mile route's final sailing last year took place on 9th September.
Freight capacity on the core Dublin-Holyhead route will be boosted by the entrant's 1, 924 lane metres of deck space which will cater for high-sided freight-trailers of 4.65 metres.
The Stena Superfast X operates two return sailings with a crossing time of 3 hours and 15 minutes. The 30,285 tonnes newcomer will operate alongside the Stena Adventurer, providing customers up to 28 return sailings weekly on the all year round on the route.
Superfast last Sunday carried out berthing trials in Dublin Port and takes over the sailing roster of the 'Nordica' (see LED screen) . She carried out her final sailings yesterday from and to Holyhead, from where she made last night's repositioning passage to Belfast to arrive in the early hours of this morning.
The ferry is to be prepared for a delivery voyage to the Strait of Dover to operate Dover-Calais for another operator, in what is understood to be a charter arrangement.