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Displaying items by tag: Stena Europe

On completion of an extensive refit programme at an Asian shipyard located in Turkey and at a dock in Liverpool, the UK, the Stena Europe has recently resumed its scheduled sailing services on the Rosslare - Fishguard route. 

Afloat.ie adds the veteran ferry returned to service later than expected as an original completion timeframe was set for July before the high-season ended on the St. Georges Channel service linking Ireland and Wales.  

As alluded by the operator, Stena Europe's upgrade programme took longer than had been anticipated but as Stena Line’s Trade Director (Irish Sea South) Ian Davies said, the upgraded vessel will now offer a significant improvement in customer care. “I know there has been a certain amount of frustration with the delayed return of the Stena Europe, a very popular vessel with both our freight and travel customers. We had planned for a number of improvements and additions throughout the ship both of a technical and customer-facing nature, but we did encounter a number of challenges which impacted on our works delivery schedule for which I’d like to apologies to our customers. “

Ian Davies added: “During the refit period our cover vessel the Stena Nordica did a sterling job ensuring we maintained our sailing schedule on Fishguard – Rosslare and I would like thank the Captain and crew of the Stena Nordica for their efforts. We are now all looking forward to welcoming the Stena Europe back and I know a lot of our regular customers are looking forward to seeing the improvements.”

“Apart from a number of technical upgrades our freight customers will be particularly pleased to hear that we have altered our deck height to be able to accommodate the increasing trend for high sided trailers and for our travel customers we have also added a new Hygge Lounge which offers luxury reclining seats set in a private, ultra-stylish but cosy surrounding, an upgraded Retail Shop and a refurbished Happy children’s play area to name a few changes.”

As for the whereabouts of Stena Nordica, Afloat.ie yesterday tracked the former Dublin-Holyhead ferry (displaced by Stena Superfast X  in 2015) make a repositioning voyage from Rosslare Europort when transitting through the English Channel bound for Rotterdam (Europoort), The Netherlands. 

The Japanese built ropax completed the passage having arrived in Europe's largest port today. 

Published in Ferry

#ferries - The Rosslare-Fishguard ferry Stena Europe is off service and is currently undergoing a significant three-month refit visit at a shipyard located outside Europe.

Last month Afloat monitored the Ireland-Wales ferry having left familiar waters when off Spain and prior to taking on bunkers in Gibraltar and entering the Meditteranean. According to Stena Line the ferry is at the Gemak Shipyard in Tuzla. The yard is located in the province of Istanbul, Turkey on the Asian side of the city. 

The 24,828 gross tonnage ferry which was introduced on the St. Georges Channel route in 2002 is scheduled to return late June 2019 and during the visit a number of upgrade projects will be completed.

One of the most significant projects to be undertaken includes modifications to the deckhead levels on the main vehicle deck to allow for the carriage of full-height trailers across the whole of the main vehicle deck. Prior to arrival at the Turkish shipyard, Stena Europe was restricted to carrying full-height trailers on its port side only.

Other works will include the renewal of the majority of the ship’s windows, engine and hull overhauls including blasting the whole hull to remove all the existing old paint work to improve fuel efficiency and the ships appearance.

Internally, the passenger stairwells will be revamped, a redesign of the Barista Coffee outlet, as well as upgrades to the passenger Information Desk and other decor improvements. During the refit period, the Stena Europe has been replaced by the Stena Nordica on the Rosslare-Fishguard service.

Ian Davies, Stena Line Trade Director (Irish Sea South) said: “Our ongoing ship refit programme is an important part of our business operation ensuring that our fleet operates to its maximum efficiently and is further evidence of Stena Line’s rolling investment programme for the region. The Stena Europe is an important part of our Irish Sea South fleet and we look forward to welcoming a revamped vessel back to our Rosslare-Fishguard service in the summer with the capacity to accommodate even more full-height trailers while still carrying up to 1, 400 passengers.

This is an important year for Stena Line on the Irish Sea as preparations are made to receive the first of its new generation E-Flexer series vessels, the Stena Estrid, which is scheduled to enter service on the Dublin to Holyhead route in early 2020, the first of three new E-Flexer vessels bound for the Irish Sea region..

Stena Line is the largest ferry operator on the Irish Sea, operating routes between Ireland and Britain, including Dublin to Holyhead, Belfast to Liverpool /Heysham and Belfast to Cairnryan. In addition a continental direct service to France between Rosslare and Cherbourg.

Published in Ferry

#FerryReturns – A ferry on the Stena Line Holyhead-Dublin Port had to return to Anglesey after reports of a fire on board.

Emergency services were called after smoke was spotted coming from a refrigeration unit on the car deck of the Holyhead to Dublin Stena Europe ferry. No fire was found and the Stena Europe was able to leave for Dublin. For more BBC North Wales reports.

Afloat.ie adds that the Stena Europe has docked in Dublin Port this afternoon having completed the delayed sailing from Wales.

Stena Europe normally operates the Rosslare-Fishguard route and yesterday the ferry made a repositioning voyage to Dublin Port.

The veteran ferry built in 1981 is covering Dublin-Holyhead sailings otherwise operated by Stena Nordica which went off service for dry-docking. The route's second ferry, Stena Adventurer maintains running on schedule.

Stena Europe is due to have an annual refit in Cammell Laird, Birkenhead. Currently there are no sailings between Rosslare-Fishguard until her return on 9 December. An interim replacement service from Rosslare is running instead to Pembroke Dock and this route is operated by Irish Ferries.

 

Published in Ferry

#MarineWildlife - BBC News has some incredible footage of a 'superpod' comprising hundreds of dolphins in the Irish Sea captured this week.

The video was shot by surprised researchers with the Wales-based Sea Trust on one of the groups routine survey expeditions between Fishguard and Rosslare on board the Stena Europe ferry.

Cliff Benson of the marine wildlife charity described the sea as "boiling" with dolphins just 10 miles off the Irish coast yesterday morning.

"They were just coming and coming. It was the last thing on earth I was expecting in the winter," he said. "We had at least 250 and that's a conservative estimate. I'm guessing there was as many as 500."

The incredible sight comes just a month after the researchers recorded what they called a "dolphin-fest" along the same route west of Tusker Rock, numbering more than a 100 dolphins and 26 porpoises.

BBC News has more on the story HERE - and more footage is available HERE via RTÉ News.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#FERRY NEWS - A Stena Line ferry was unable to dock in Rosslare last night after a collision with an Irish Ferries passenger craft in heavy winds.

TheJournal.ie reports that the Stena Europe ferry was attempting to dock at Rosslare Harbour after its arrival from Fishguard around 6pm when it made contact with the starboard bow of the Oscar Wilde, which was stationary in port.

RTÉ News says that neither vessel was badly damaged in the incident, but docking was postponed pending the departure of the Irish Ferries vessel, which was expected around 11.30pm last night.

More than 500 passengers and crew were on board the ferry at the time of the incident, which occurred amid gusts of up to 35 knots.

The return journey to Fishguard and this morning's Fishguard-Rosslare sailing were cancelled while an inspection of the vessel gets underway.

Published in Ferry

#FERRY NEWS - A commemoration plaque in memory to those who lost their lives when the Irish Sea passenger ferry S.S. Patrick (II) was attacked by a bomb from the Luftwaffe during WW2, is to be unveiled in Rosslare Europort next Wednesday.

The tragic attack in 1941 resulted in the 1,922 tonnes vessel sinking with the death of 30 people while the twin-screw steam turbine powered vessel was on passage off the Welsh coast. The ship built in 1930 was launched from the Alexander Stephen & Sons Glasgow (Yard No 525) Glasgow, and she commissioned to serve the St. Georges's channel route between Rosslare and Fishguard.

She had been targeted by a German machine gunner the previous year even though it was not a military vessel and the reasons for its attack have remained a mystery to this day.

Diane Poole OBE, Head of PR and Communications at Stena Line said, "The ship that sank was owned by the Fishguard and Rosslare Railways and Harbours Company (FRRHC), of whom Stena Line along with Irish Rail/Rosslare Europort are descendants.

She added: "Despite the deaths and the trauma attached to the event, the memory of the ship and those who went down with her has largely been lost. There has never been a true commemoration in Ireland of the disaster – until now."

For further information about the tragedy click HERE and a documentary recorded for RTE Radio On can be listened to by clicking this LINK.

The current ferry operating the route is the Stena Europe (1981/24,828grt) which has maintained the route for the last decade. Sailings on the summer schedule will not be boosted by the fast-ferry craft, Stena Lynx III which was sold last year to serve new South Korean owners.

Published in Ferry
With the recent closure of Stena Line fast-ferry services from Dun Laoghaire and Rosslare, this leaves just four such services operating this winter between Ireland and Britain. By November only half of these services will be running on routes out of Dublin and Larne, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Currently three of these four services are employed on North Channel routes. P&O Ferries operate their fast-craft Express (1998/5,902 grt) on the one-hour route to Cairnryan which is also served by conventional ferry sisters that take two-hours. Since March the fast-ferry also joined the freight-ferry on the Troon route for the start of seasonal summer sailings which are to end on 3rd October.

The third service between Belfast-Stranraer is in the hands of rivals Stena Line which maintain the HSS Stena Voyager (1996/19,638 grt) on sailings but only to around mid-November. She will be replaced by conventional sister-ships which will be introduced on the North Channel's newest port when services switch from Stranraer to a new terminal close to Cairnryan.

Finally the fourth fast-ferry is Irish Ferries marketed 'Dublin Swift' service which runs on the Dublin-Holyhead route served by Jonathan Swift (1999/5,989 grt). The craft built by Austal in Fremantle, operates alongside the conventional cruise-ferry Ulysses.

Stena Line's decision to terminate HSS Stena Explorer sailings between Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead this day last week follows fast-ferry Stena Lynx III's end-of-season Rosslare-Fishguard sailings earlier this month.

From next year, Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead sailings are to be seasonal-only and according to Stena Line they hope to resume fast-ferry sailings in April or May though no exact date has been set. Unlike the central corridor route which was entirely dependent on HSS operations, the Rosslare-Fishguard route remains operating year-round with the conventional ferry Stena Europe.

As a result of the discontinued fast-ferries, the HSS Stena Explorer is now spending a lay-up period in the Welsh port for the winter. The smaller Stena Lynx III is also 'wintering' but in on the opposite side of the Irish Sea in Dun Laoghaire, where the vessel has done so in previous years.

The lay-up of both fast-ferries in Dun Laoghaire and Holyhead is ironic considering that neither ports' are connected by the very craft that used to share sailing rosters in recent years. In addition the wintering of these catamaran craft is the first time that this has occurred since the pioneering Stena Sea Lynx fast-ferry launched such sailings in 1993.

This first 'Lynx' provided seasonal sailings on the route with conventional car-ferry Stena Hibernia, the former St. Columba, custom-built in 1977 for Sealink /British Rail. She was given a second name under Stena ownership, the Stena Adventurer and remained on the 57 nautical-mile route until replaced in 1996 by the year-round operated HSS Stena Explorer.

Apart from cross-channel fast-ferry services, the Isle of Man is served by the Isle of Man Steam Packet Co. Ltd's routes linking the islands capital Douglas with Belfast, Dublin, Heysham and Liverpool (Birkenhead) in the winter. These routes include seasonal services which are operated by a combination of conventional tonnage using Ben-My-Chree and fast-ferry Manannan (1998/5,089grt), a former US Navy vessel, to read more click HERE. For sailing schedules, vessel type deployed on route and for fares click HERE.

Published in Ferry
Holidaymakers now have the added option of  fast-ferry sailings on Stena Line's Rosslare-Fishguard port route which is to resume tomorrow, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The high season service is operated by the fast-ferry Stena Lynx III which is marketed as the Stena 'Express' . The summertime service runs between 1 July - 4 September and the fast-ferry is scheduled to take 120 minutes for the crossing.
Stena Lynx III has a capacity for over 600 passengers and 120-cars, to see a virtual tour of the wave-piercing catamaran craft click HERE. Measuring 81m long the 4,113 gross tonnes craft was built in 1996 by fast-ferry specialists InCat in Hobart, Tasmania. In recent years she maintained sailings between Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead when the HSS Stena Explorer was temporily taken off service.

In addition to the 'Express' service the St. Georges Channel route is served by the year-round operated conventional ferry, Stena Europe (1981/24,828 grt). The 1,386 passenger / 564-vehicle ferry recently underwent a £2m refurbishment and takes a more leisurely passage time of 3 hours 30 minutes.

For information on both fast-ferry and conventional ferry sailing schedules click HERE.

Published in Ferry

Fast-ferry Stena Lynx III departed Dun Laoghaire for Fishguard Harbour on a repositioning voyage today, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The 80m craft built in Hobart, Tasmania is due to dock at the Pembrokeshire port this afternoon in advance of seasonal sailings on Stena Line's Fishguard-Rosslare.The Stena 'Express' fast-ferry service is to resume in just over a fortnight's time. Sailings are scheduled to a daily single round trip between 1 July-4 September.

The 627 passenger / 120 car capacity fast-ferry will operate in tandem with the year-round operated conventional ferry-service served by the Stena Europe. Passage times are 120 minutes for the fast-ferry service while the Stena Europe takes 3 hours 30 minutes to sail across the St. Georges Channel.

In the same week that the fast-ferry takes up summer sailings from Fishguard, the small French flagged cruiseship Le Diament is to make the first of three calls in July and once in August.

The motoryacht-like vessel which can accommodate 226 passengers is the first cruise caller of the season and is run by the only French-owned cruise operator Compagnie De Iles Du Ponant.

Published in Ferry
4th April 2011

Stena's Southern Sailings

Sailings on Stena Line's Rosslare-Fishguard port route remain for freight-users only until the passenger ferry returns from essential maintenance this week, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The passenger ferry Stena Europe is currently in dry-dock at the A&P Group's Falmouth facility and is scheduled to resume normal service with the first sailing at 14.30hrs from Fishguard on Thursday 7th April. The corresponding first outbound sailing from Rosslare is on the same day with the 21.15hrs sailing.

In the meantime freight-only ferry Stena Seafarer is operating the St. Georges Channel route having arrived at Rosslare on a repositioning voyage from Belfast on 29th March.

Stena Seafarer (1975 / 10,957grt) was one of a trio of freight-ferry sisters that served the Larne-Fleetwood port route until its closure in December. Like her sisters Stena Leader (1975 / 12,879grt) and Stena Pioneer (1975 / 14,426grt) they were built at the West German shipyard of J.J. Sietas in Hamburg.

Stena Seafarer's sisters remain laid-up in Belfast and with each vessel over 35 years in service it would seem likely there are nearing the end of their careers, at least on the Irish Sea.  

To provide additional passenger capacity the Stena 'Express' fast-ferry service will return to the southern corridor route between 1 July-4 September. The high-season sailings as usual will be operated by the InCat built Stena Lynx III which is to operate a daily single round trip in tandem with Stena Europe.

Published in Ferry
Page 1 of 2

The Half Ton Class was created by the Offshore Racing Council for boats within the racing band not exceeding 22'-0". The ORC decided that the rule should "....permit the development of seaworthy offshore racing yachts...The Council will endeavour to protect the majority of the existing IOR fleet from rapid obsolescence caused by ....developments which produce increased performance without corresponding changes in ratings..."

When first introduced the IOR rule was perfectly adequate for rating boats in existence at that time. However yacht designers naturally examined the rule to seize upon any advantage they could find, the most noticeable of which has been a reduction in displacement and a return to fractional rigs.

After 1993, when the IOR Mk.III rule reached it termination due to lack of people building new boats, the rule was replaced by the CHS (Channel) Handicap system which in turn developed into the IRC system now used.

The IRC handicap system operates by a secret formula which tries to develop boats which are 'Cruising type' of relatively heavy boats with good internal accommodation. It tends to penalise boats with excessive stability or excessive sail area.

Competitions

The most significant events for the Half Ton Class has been the annual Half Ton Cup which was sailed under the IOR rules until 1993. More recently this has been replaced with the Half Ton Classics Cup. The venue of the event moved from continent to continent with over-representation on French or British ports. In later years the event is held biennially. Initially, it was proposed to hold events in Ireland, Britain and France by rotation. However, it was the Belgians who took the ball and ran with it. The Class is now managed from Belgium. 

At A Glance – Half Ton Classics Cup Winners

  • 2017 – Kinsale – Swuzzlebubble – Phil Plumtree – Farr 1977
  • 2016 – Falmouth – Swuzzlebubble – Greg Peck – Farr 1977
  • 2015 – Nieuwport – Checkmate XV – David Cullen – Humphreys 1985
  • 2014 – St Quay Portrieux – Swuzzlebubble – Peter Morton – Farr 1977
  • 2013 – Boulogne – Checkmate XV – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1985
  • 2011 – Cowes – Chimp – Michael Kershaw – Berret 1978
  • 2009 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978
  • 2007 – Dun Laoghaire – Henri-Lloyd Harmony – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1980~
  • 2005 – Dinard – Gingko – Patrick Lobrichon – Mauric 1968
  • 2003 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978

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