Stena Line celebrates today (November 12, 2020) the 25th anniversary of the relocation of its ferry services to Belfast from Larne in 1995. In that time the company has achieved a number of key milestones including transporting in excess of 33 million passengers, 7 million cars and almost 7 million freight units.
When Stena Line established its Belfast operation in 1995 it operated three ferries to one port in Scotland. Today, that service has expanded to include seven vessels operating year-round services to Cairnryan, Birkenhead (Liverpool) and Heysham with a mix of freight and leisure traffic.
Today, the Belfast Harbour hub is Stena Line’s largest port operation outside its home port of Gothenborg, Sweden.
“While there have been numerous milestones along the way a few standout moments for me include the introduction of the HSS Stena Voyager in 1996, the most advanced ferry in the world at that time; the opening of our new Belfast VT4 Terminal in 2008; the opening of our new purpose built Loch Ryan Port (Cairnryan) with the accompanying introduction of the state of the art Superfast VII and VIII vessels in 2011 and most recently (March 2020), the introduction of our new build Stena Edda onto our Belfast-Liverpool service with sister ship Stena Embla due to be introduced onto the same route early next year,” said Paul Grant, Stena Line Trade Director (Irish Sea).
Stena Line’s newest addition to its Irish Sea fleet, Stena Embla, has successfully completed a comprehensive range of sea trials in advance of going into service on the Belfast-Liverpool route in early 2021. At 215 metres in length with a freight capacity of 3 100 lane meters, Stena Embla will join sister ship Stena Edda providing a combined increase in freight tonnage on the Belfast to Liverpool route of 20 percent, and each ship also has the space to carry 120 cars and 1,000 passengers.