Stena Line’s newest addition to its fleet, the brand-new Stena Embla has arrived in Belfast, prior to joining Stena Line’s Edda and Mersey on the Birkenhead to Belfast route. Stena Embla is the third E-Flexer ferry to be commissioned for Stena Line’s Irish Sea routes in the last 12 months, three of the most modern ferries in the world.
Stena Embla will join her sister ship, Edda, on the popular Belfast – Birkenhead route later this month. Stena Mersey will head off to turkey to be lengthened and will be redeployed on a different route.
Sailing from 12 Quays, Stena Embla has the capacity to carry 1 000 passengers, 120 cars and 3,100 lane metres of freight. This will provide a significant 20% increase in freight capacity for the route, which is expected to see an increase in demand post-Brexit.
Paul Grant (pictured with Howard Hills in the main image), Stena Line’s Irish Sea Trade Director said, “The arrival in Belfast of our newly built Stena Embla is yet another important milestone in the ongoing enhancement programme of our Irish Sea services. We have now invested over £400m in our ferries and port facilities on the Irish Sea in recent years. The Belfast-Birkenhead 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-Birkenhead service and the feedback from our freight and leisure customers was extremely positive. 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.”
Paul Grant concluded, “Clearly 2020 has been a difficult year for our business, however, despite this Stena Line has remained resolute in our ongoing commitment to driving our freight and travel business forward in the region.”
Stena Embla will make one daily return trip between Belfast and Birkenhead. Stena Line is the largest ferry operator on the Irish Sea, with the biggest fleet offering the widest choice of routes including, combined passenger and freight services from Belfast to Cairnryan and Liverpool, Dublin to Holyhead, and Rosslare to Fishguard routes, as well as a freight-only route from Belfast to Heysham, a total of up to 238 weekly sailing options between Britain and Ireland. Stena Line also offers a direct service from Rosslare to Cherbourg with 12 crossings per week.
Main image: Paul Grant and Howard Hillis with Stena Embla 2 January 2021