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Displaying items by tag: 20 years Belfast services

#StenaBelfast20th - This year marks twenty years since Stena Line took up its ferry services in Belfast and 2015 is to be the operators busiest year to date for car and freight numbers.

In the two decades since it moved to Belfast on this day in 1995, Stena Line has expanded its services significantly. Currently the company employs over 900 staff, transports 1.4 million passengers, 318 000 cars and almost 500 000 freight units annually.

When the ferry firm established its Belfast operation on 12th November 1995, it operated three ferries to one port in Scotland. (See recent ferry award for Belfast-Cairnryan). Today, that service has expanded to seven vessels operating year round services to Cairnryan, Birkenhead (Liverpool) and Heysham with a mix of freight and leisure traffic.

Stena Line has delivered some impressive numbers on its Belfast services over the last two decades including transporting 26 million passengers, 5.5 million cars and over 4 million freight units. But as Route Manager (Irish Sea North) Paul Grant states, behind the numbers it’s the quality and reliability of the service that has been the hallmark of Stena Line’s successful Belfast operation, commenting: “The opportunity to develop a significant presence in Belfast was always going to be based on how well we developed our customer offering. Today our modern fleet offers a range of quality facilities have helped to set the standard for travel on the Irish Sea including Spa facilities, exclusive Plus lounges, family suites and dedicated Freight Driver lounges. When these facilities are back up by award winning crews and market leading punctuality and reliability figures, the next two decades look equally as exciting.”

The company has also taken a positive view of the development of the local economy over the last two decades. Hans Nilsson, Stena Line’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) said: ”Stena Line and the Stena Group are long term supporters of Belfast. Over the last two decades alone, working in partnership with Belfast Harbour, we have invested over £330 million in establishing and developing our services to and from Belfast. In fact this week we will have an eighth Stena vessel in Belfast with the 117 000 ton ice-breaker series Stena Arctica undergoing a major refit at Harland & Wolff, further testimony of support for and confidence in the local Northern Ireland economy.”

A number of notable milestones over the last two decades in Stena Line's Irish Sea North have including the construction of a new £35 million VT4 terminal in Belfast in 2008. Three years later in 2011 the company established a new port and terminal facility at Loch Ryan Port (Cairnryan) adding two award winning Superfast vessels. In the same year it also acquired the Belfast-Liverpool/Heysham routes from DFDS.

Published in Ferry

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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