THE ferry company Stena Line is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its operations between Holyhead and Dublin Port.
During the quarter of a century of operations the ferry company has carried in excess of 12 million passengers, almost 3 million cars and 3.5 million freight units on the route.
The first vessel to sail on the new service in 1995 was the Stena Traveller.
Today on the route, Stena Line operates the Stena Adventurer and the recently built Stena Estrid, the first of three next generation ferries commissioned for the Irish Sea, accommodating a mix of freight and leisure traffic.
Over the last 25 years, Stena Line has invested significantly in the Holyhead to Dublin route as volumes have increased significantly both in freight and leisure travel numbers.
In fact, if all vehicles that have travelled with Stena Line to and from Dublin Port were laid end to end, they would circle the entire globe.
Paul Grant, Stena Line Trade Director (Irish Sea), said: “The establishment of our Holyhead-Dublin Port operation 25 years ago today has been something of a game changer for us on the Irish Sea”
“The service is one of Stena Line’s best performing Irish Sea routes which is why it was chosen to receive the first of the company’s three new build ferries, Stena Estrid, in January of this year. At 215 metres in length with a freight capacity of 3 100 lane meters, Stena Estrid also has the space to carry 120 cars and 1,000 passengers,” he added.
“However, no amount of foresight or planning could have factored in the devastating impact of the Covid 19 pandemic, but I am proud of the key role that Stena Line and my colleagues have played in helping to keep vital food and medical supply lines operational between Ireland and Britain throughout this crisis. We have worked hard to keep our guests and colleagues safe throughout this challenging time and are confident that the ferry industry will be one of the first sectors of the tourism sector to see a return to pre-Covid trading, when it is deemed safe to do so.
“As we move into 2021, Brexit will also provide a challenge for our business as it will for many others. We have been engaging constructively with authorities on both sides of the Irish Sea to ensure the free flow of goods through our ports and are assisting our freight customers as much as we can in their regulatory preparations for Brexit.”
Mr Grant added: “As for the next 25 years, we have set a firm course on becoming the most sustainable global ferry operator, and I’m confident we have the vision and talent to achieve this ambition”.