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Stena Europe Leaves UK Waters to Return to Strait of Gibraltar with Charter to Africa Morocco Link

30th April 2024
Another unfolding chapter as Stena Europe is underway, having departed Falmouth, UK, yesterday bound for Spain. The long-serving Rosslare-Fishguard ferry (above its reception desk as seen last month) is to embark on a new career with Africa Morocco Link (AML), as Afloat previously speculated, operating from Algeciras, which is on the Bay of Algeciras/Gibraltar, facing opposite the UK overseas territory.
Another unfolding chapter as Stena Europe is underway, having departed Falmouth, UK, yesterday bound for Spain. The long-serving Rosslare-Fishguard ferry (above its reception desk as seen last month) is to embark on a new career with Africa Morocco Link (AML), as Afloat previously speculated, operating from Algeciras, which is on the Bay of Algeciras/Gibraltar, facing opposite the UK overseas territory. Credit: Jehan Ashmore

Stena Europe, which left the Rosslare-Fishguard route recently, with ropax Stena Nordica resuming service, is to return to the Strait of Gibraltar, where it had been on charter last year, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The Stena Europe, built in 1981, after making its final sailing on the Ireland-Wales route, departed from Rosslare on 14 April, when the veteran ferry headed for A&P Falmouth, Cornwall, where it entered dry dock. This was followed by Irish Ferries fast-ferry Dublin Swift arriving at the dry dock where the Stena Europe had occupied, with the conventional 24,828-ton ferry shifting to a nearby layover berth.

Afloat contacted Stena Line to confirm if Stena Europe would operate for Africa Morocco Link (AML), as this month the Swedish operator made an agreement to acquire a 49% shareholding in AML. The company commented that the ‘Stena Europe will indeed be chartered to our new AML route of Tanger Med-Algeciras this summer.’

Stena Europe was tracked by Afloat yesterday when off Cornwall, having departed Falmouth, as the 2,076 passenger/456 car/60 truck ferry is bound for Algeciras, with a delivery arrival expected on 2 May. When Stena Europe enters service, the 149-metre ferry will be in direct competition in the Port of Algerciras (see separate story) with another Scandinavian-based operator, DFDS, which only in January acquired FRS Iberia / Maroc.

When Stena Europe was previously on the Strait of Gibraltar, it was also operating on the Tangier Med-Algeciras route, but for a different company when running during the peak period of Operation Marhaba.

Stena told Afloat that the charter to AML is temporary. The company did not reveal where the ageing ferry will go after its Strait of Gibraltar service.

Published in Stena Line
Jehan Ashmore

About The Author

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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