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Ferry Operator's New Stena Embla Makes Maiden Sailing on Belfast-Birkenhead (Liverpool) Route

25th January 2021
Trucks drive on board the newest ferry on the Irish Sea, Stena Embla which made a maiden crossing on the Belfast-Liverpool service last night, boosting both passenger and freight capacity. The newbuild joined Stena Edda and this brings to three E-Flexer Ro-Pax class ferries on service including Stena Estrid on the Dublin-Holyhead route. As AFLOAT highlighted yesterday, this E-Flexer was scheduled to return to the Irish capital (this morning) following a first round trip of Stena’s new route to continental mainland Europe via Cherbourg, France and during weekdays the ‘leadship E-Flexer’ serves on the route to Wales. Trucks drive on board the newest ferry on the Irish Sea, Stena Embla which made a maiden crossing on the Belfast-Liverpool service last night, boosting both passenger and freight capacity. The newbuild joined Stena Edda and this brings to three E-Flexer Ro-Pax class ferries on service including Stena Estrid on the Dublin-Holyhead route. As AFLOAT highlighted yesterday, this E-Flexer was scheduled to return to the Irish capital (this morning) following a first round trip of Stena’s new route to continental mainland Europe via Cherbourg, France and during weekdays the ‘leadship E-Flexer’ serves on the route to Wales.

The newest Stena Line ferry on the Irish Sea made its inaugural crossing on the Belfast-Birkenhead (Liverpool) service last night and as Afloat adds this follows a debut albeit temporarily on the Rosslare-Cherbourg route to enable extra capacity.

Stena Embla joined another E-Flexer ro-pax class Stena Edda on the popular Belfast – Liverpool route with the capacity to carry 1,000 passengers, 120 cars and with 3,100 freight lane meters.

The Chinese built newbuild will increase the Belfast – Liverpool service freight capacity by 20% and raise passenger capacity by 33%.

Paul Grant, Stena Line’s Irish Sea Trade Director said: “Stena Embla will make one daily return trip between Belfast and Liverpool. We have now invested over £400m in our ferries and port facilities on the Irish Sea in recent years. The Belfast-Liverpool route is one of the most popular Irish Sea crossings for both freight and leisure traffic so having a second vessel of the calibre of Stena Embla, with a host of high-quality passenger facilities, will further increase its appeal and expand our capacity. In March 2020 we launched our new build Stena Edda onto the Belfast-Liverpool service and the feedback from our freight and leisure customers was extremely positive.

He added "Now we will have two ships offering identical services and facilities which will help take our service levels on the route to new heights. We have real confidence in the future of our Belfast services and our Irish Sea routes in general, which is why this region has attracted three brand new ships in the last 12 months alone.”

Published in Stena Line, Ferry
Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore

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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. 

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About Stena Line

Stena Line is one of Europe's leading ferry companies with 37 vessels and 17 routes in Northern Europe operating 25,000 sailings each year. Stena Line is an important part of the European logistics network and develops new intermodal freight solutions by combining transport by rail, road and sea. Stena Line also plays an important role for tourism in Europe with its extensive passenger operations. The company is family-owned, was founded in 1962 and is headquartered in Gothenburg. Stena Line has 4,300 employees and an annual turnover of 14 billion SEK.

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