ANNOUNCEMENT #2 from Stena Line;
STENA LINE THINKS BIG WITH NEW SHIPS
FOR ITS SCOTLAND-NORTHERN IRELAND SERVICE
Ferry company brings in two of the biggest ships ever to work the Scotland-N. Ireland route
Leading ferry company Stena Line today confirmed the addition of two new Superfast ferries on its service between Scotland and Northern Ireland in Autumn 2011 to coincide with the opening of its new £80m Loch Ryan Port at Cairnryan.
Sister ships Superfast VII and Superfast VIII will replace the HSS Stena Voyager, Stena Caledonia and Stena Navigator, which currently operate between the two countries.
The Superfast vessels, the biggest ships ever to operate on the Scotland-Northern Ireland route, will cater for both passenger and freight traffic. For freight customers, the ships will be altered to allow for extra deck height to accommodate the trend for higher, more efficient freight units.
Each ship can carry up to 1,200 passengers, around 660 cars or 110 freight vehicles and will be able to complete the journey between Scotland and the heart of Belfast in 2 hours, 15 minutes. They each have a gross tonnage of 30,285 and are capable of travelling at 27 knots. The ships will be leased from Tallink, the Baltic Sea shipping group.
The introduction of the new ships to the route later this year will coincide with the opening of Stena Line's purpose built £80M port facility at Loch Ryan Port, Cairnryan in Scotland, which will replace its current base at Stranraer.
Gunnar Blomdahl, Managing Director of Stena Line said: "This investment is another stage in Stena Line's ongoing multi million pound investment program which aims to take the Stena Line fleet to the next level. I'm convinced that the changes on this route will be very positive for our customers between Scotland and Northern Ireland."
Before the ships are deployed on the route both vessels will be given extensive refits to ensure that they deliver a great experience with new attractive onboard concepts for restaurants and public areas and as well as providing
complete flexibility for freight operators. The upgrades will include the provision of extra deck height to cater for the trend towards higher vehicles and hauliers' increased use of double –deck freight units.
Frank Nieuwenhuys, Freight Commercial Manager, Stena Line UK and Ireland said: "Belfast is now firmly established as the logistics focal point in Northern Ireland and the deployment of the new ships later this year will coincide with the opening of our new purpose built £80m port facility at Loch Ryan Port, Cairnryan in Scotland, which will replace our current base in Stranraer.
He added: "The new ships will connect these two key locations, delivering unparalleled service ahead of expectations, to the ever-demanding logistics
sector. The new ships will be the largest vessels ever to operate between Scotland and Northern Ireland and will provide Stena Line with increased operational efficiency by replacing three ships with two. With a journey time of
2hr 15mins to the heart of Belfast freight customers can look forward to a great service direct to and from Northern Ireland's capital."
MEDIA ENQUIRIES: For further information please contact Fiona Brown at Duffy
Rafferty Communications on Belfast (028) 9073 0880.