Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Displaying items by tag: Stena Forwarder

A newly introduced freight-ferry for Stena Line’s Belfast-Birkenhead (Liverpool) route involved a ro-ro vessel make a maiden overnight crossing on the Irish Sea, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The 2,500 freight-lane metres capacity Stena Forwarder arrived in Belfast on 3 November and became the third vessel on the England-Northern Ireland route where passenger E-Flexer twins Stena Edda and Stena Embla have operated since 2020 and 2021 respectively.

Freight operations at Belfast use the Victoria Terminal (VT4) whereas passenger services are based at Victoria Terminal (VT2) but all vessels berth at the Twelve Quays terminal, Birkenhead, with up to tree departures daily and around 7 hours crossing time.

Only last month Stena Forwarder joined the Stena Ro Ro fleet and has been chartered to Stena Line’s Irish Sea operations on the Birkenhead-Belfast route. Formerly the Frijsenborg, as the 21,666 gross tonnage vessel had called to Belfast was renamed prior to entering service.

The Danish flagged vessel directly replaced Stena Foreteller which had been operating on the route’s shoulder service when engaged in un-accompanied freight on the Mersey-Lagan link. A sister, Stena Carrier given its size, made for quite an impression when as Afloat reported it call to Dun Laoghaire Harbour to undergo a survey in 2018.

Frijsenborg was built in 2016 at the Visentini shipyard in Italy from where the same shipbuilder launched a ropax also named Stena Forwarder which during the early 2000’s served on the Dublin-Holyhead route.

Stena Line operate other freight-only vessels on the Irish Sea, the twins Stena Hibernia and Stena Scotia on the Belfast-Heysham route, however the pair are to be replaced by the custom-built Stena NewMax methanol-fuelled ro-ro ferries due to enter service in 2025.

Published in Stena Line

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.