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So Where Did that Stena RoRo Go? Having Called 'Twice' to Dun Laoghaire Harbour

10th June 2018
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In this amidships view of Stena Carrier, the imposing length of the ro-ro freight vessel is clearly demonstrated alongside Carlisle Pier, Dun Laoghaire Harbour. At 182.77m the vessel is the longest of its type to dock in the port as well as been the largest in gross tonnage terms.  In fact the ship is larger than the former fastferry HSS Stena Explorer which carried out its final crossing in September 2014, marking the end of the historic Holyhead route. In this amidships view of Stena Carrier, the imposing length of the ro-ro freight vessel is clearly demonstrated alongside Carlisle Pier, Dun Laoghaire Harbour. At 182.77m the vessel is the longest of its type to dock in the port as well as been the largest in gross tonnage terms. In fact the ship is larger than the former fastferry HSS Stena Explorer which carried out its final crossing in September 2014, marking the end of the historic Holyhead route. Photo: JEHAN ASHMORE

#FerryNews - Stena Carrier, the ro-ro freight-only ferry that made a notable call to Dun Laoghaire Harbour at the end of April, finally departed the former Stena HSS ferryport last week for further charter work with P&O, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The 21,000grt Stena Carrier, easily the largest ever ro-ro ferry ever to enter Dun Laoghaire Harbour had undergone survey work and loading of stores. On completion of works the freight-ferry remained in port though eventually had to vacate the berth at Carlisle Pier, to facilitate the annual Red Bull Flugtag event held almost a month ago. This led to an anchorage spell in Dublin Bay of the Stena ship that at that stage awaited news of charter work, before returning to the harbour.

All this though was to change on 30 May when Stena Carrier finally departed Dun Laoghaire Harbour following the securing of the charter to P&O Ferries, who previously deployed Stena Carrier on their Dublin-Liverpool service until 22 April. This was initially followed by anchoring off Dun Laoghaire before the freight-ferry made a first ever call to the south Dublin Bay harbour which as alluded took place in April. The imposing Stena 4Runner class sister built in 2004 as the last of a quartet in Italy, dominated the harbour's waterfront. 

Further details of Stena Carrier's departure from Dun Laoghaire last week, Afloat reveal as the 182.77m (the longest ro-ro to visit the harbour) was monitored making a late afternoon departure between the pierheads. The ship set a northerly course to round Scotland and continue the voyage bound for Teesport. The English port on the North Sea (relatively close to the Scottish border) is from where Stena Carrier took up charter this month on P&O's Dutch route to Rotterdam (Europoort).

The deployment of Stena Carrier which has 2,715 freight lane metres, led to P&O displacing the 18,000grt Estraden from the route onto their second Teesport service, the link to Zeebrugge. In turn the tonnage significantly boosts capacity on the UK-Belgium connection as Estraden is twice the size of the vessel it replaces, the Mistral. 

Estraden's entry on the Belgium service involves working in tandem with the route's other existing ro-ro the Bore Song. Together, according to Ships Monthly they form the fastest and most conveninent gateway to Scotland for exporters to and from the continent. Noting Afloat's coverage in April of the closure of the only direct Scotland-Belgium ro-ro route by Danish operator DFDS that ran between Rosyth and Zeebrugge.

One of the other Stena 4Runner sisters, Afloat has previously encountered when covering Celtic Link Ferries final Rosslare-Cherbourg round trip crossings in 2014 operated by Celtic Horizon. It was during the outward sailing and when in the English Channel was spotted Stena Forecaster, see report. Then Dutch operator Transfennica introduced the ro-ro ship on a new Spain-UK-Belgium route, however the service no longer operates. 

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