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Stena Line - New Tonnage for North Channel(Read 25206 times)
Re: Stena Line - New Tonnage for North Channel Reply #15 on: April 21, 2011, 02:17:59 PM
Both HSS services will be missed but the Superfasts will not take that much longer to complete the crossings on the north channel as the HSS service runs at reduced speed nowadays.

Would be great if for the final week Stena ran the two HSS services on the original timetable and at high speed so people could get one last chance to experience the ships as they were originally intended.



Re: Stena Line - New Tonnage for North Channel Reply #16 on: April 21, 2011, 07:41:49 PM
Even from mid September 2011 for 6 weeks bring it back up to full speed from the end off Loch Ryan to the start of Belfast Loch, let them show the passengers how the HSS should run.  I'm sure they could give the passenger a run for there money which they enjoy.  Port to Port like the old days in 90 minutes.  Remember the days when the HSS running late doing Stranraer to Belfast old port in 70 minutes those where the days   :D :D :D.

Will miss the old girl on the Route and the Caledonia and Navigator in the later years.  Hope they are put to some use somewhere and they are not just left to be mothballed.

I'm sure stena will do a good job on the new ships which they plan to introduce to the route, as they did when the introduce the navigator.




Re: Stena Line - New Tonnage for North Channel Reply #17 on: April 21, 2011, 08:24:40 PM
It's a nice idea, running the HSSs back at full speed, but I think they've been trying to wean the public of them for the last 3 years; I think the last thing they want to do is remind them of how good they are just before they disappear for good.

The two and a quarter hours on the north channel is good for the new vessels, but I still think they've got their work cut out developing a strategy for Dun Laoghaire / Holyhead.  I read recently that 70% of the summer market still goes through the port; that's a lot of passengers they've not yet managed to convince to go through Dublin port despite just sailing once a day, and a lot to risk losing to IF.  I doubt one sailing a day of the Express during the summer (presuming the Rosslare service ceased) would be sufficient.

Developing such a strategy is clearly something they've bought themselves time to do with their new 2 year (plus an option on a further year) contract with DLHarbour.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2011, 08:28:27 PM by Simon.Manby »



Re: Stena Line - New Tonnage for North Channel Reply #18 on: April 21, 2011, 10:34:46 PM
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Hi Sam,

As regards farewell trips, Stena Caledonia's Senior Master Captain Murray Paterson has made proposals to the company for an event/cruise to mark her 30th anniversary in August. I have been working with him on some articles about the ship, one of which will be in June's edition of Ships Monthly (out 29th April).

Would look forward to that Scott...I have a vivid memory of standing on McCaughey Road with my father when I was about ten, and seeing three of the Saints across the Victoria Channel being outfitted. All were still in red lead, and seemed to be massive in comparison to anything we had seen before that. With all four having served on the North Channel, they really are 'our' ferries! Also managed a bridge visit to the Stena Antrim some years ago...very special trip!



Re: Stena Line - New Tonnage for North Channel Reply #19 on: April 22, 2011, 09:52:57 AM
[/quote]

Would look forward to that Scott...I have a vivid memory of standing on McCaughey Road with my father when I was about ten, and seeing three of the Saints across the Victoria Channel being outfitted. All were still in red lead, and seemed to be massive in comparison to anything we had seen before that. With all four having served on the North Channel, they really are 'our' ferries! Also managed a bridge visit to the Stena Antrim some years ago...very special trip!
[/quote]

Sam, Yes, I feel like I've grown up with them and will certainly feel we are worse off when the Caledonia leaves. If you're interested, I have a selection of photos at http://www.flickr.com/photos/scottmackey



Re: Stena Line - New Tonnage for North Channel Reply #20 on: April 22, 2011, 10:27:44 AM
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with the withdrawl of the HSS stena will make a step back of 15 years and deffo not the way too compete with low cost airlines
Given the running costs of the HSS, I don't think they had much choice.

That said: HSS crossing time to Stranraer on the current timetable is 2hr10 / 2hr20, depending on sailing (2hrs / 2hr10 Stranraer to Belfast).  Stena's press release announcing the Superfast leases talks about a crossing time of 2hr15 (partly thanks to the move to Loch Ryan Port).  They're not really losing anything.

(...and personally, always preferred the slow boats anyway, they have a far more relaxed feel about them.  Will miss Navigator, myself.)



Re: Stena Line - New Tonnage for North Channel Reply #21 on: April 22, 2011, 08:54:50 PM
Scott,

Some impressive shots there...from memory, only the Galloway originally had a bulbous bow...the St. Christopher / St. Anselm / St. David all had bow rudders if memory serves me. Caledonia must have had hers added later. Pity about the stern sponsons though...ruin an otherwise impressive (if not exactly svelte) design.



Re: Stena Line - New Tonnage for North Channel Reply #22 on: April 22, 2011, 11:13:33 PM
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It's a nice idea, running the HSSs back at full speed, but I think they've been trying to wean the public of them for the last 3 years; I think the last thing they want to do is remind them of how good they are just before they disappear for good.

The two and a quarter hours on the north channel is good for the new vessels, but I still think they've got their work cut out developing a strategy for Dun Laoghaire / Holyhead.  I read recently that 70% of the summer market still goes through the port; that's a lot of passengers they've not yet managed to convince to go through Dublin port despite just sailing once a day, and a lot to risk losing to IF.  I doubt one sailing a day of the Express during the summer (presuming the Rosslare service ceased) would be sufficient.

Developing such a strategy is clearly something they've bought themselves time to do with their new 2 year (plus an option on a further year) contract with DLHarbour.

Good points there FastFerryFan - I think Dun Laoghaire/Holyhead definitely has good potential, particularly given the level of loyalty shown to it by Stenas passenger-base.  The problems that Stena had with the Lynx (both weather and mechanical) when it was double-tripping last Spring caused a lot of cancellations and they were very anxious to avoid that this year.  Thus, we got HSS for a full season (probably until the end of September, taking in those last two weeks).

As for what happens then, well I dont know and I have a suspicion that Stena dont either.  The easy and cheap solution is a seasonal service using the Lynx but they will be aware that passengers pay a premium for the Dun Laoghaire service and won't tolerate the regular cancellations that happen with a smaller vessel (no disrespect to the Lynx, shes a good craft and lovely inside).  She would need to be reliably double tripping every day June-August at least.

Potential exists for perhaps a lease on one of the larger Incats knocking about.  If the service is just to run 6/7 months a year - lets say March/April to September/October then renting in a vessel may well be a viable option, particularly given that the charges in Dun Laoghaire have returned to a rational level.  Other possibilities obviously also include the HSS 900 from Scandinavia, retention of HSS Explorer in the hope that oil prices will drop (or indeed passenger numbers will climb - both achieve the exact same result in terms of breakeven) or possibly the reintroduction of a conventional ferry.

Most options would probably require work at Dun Laoghaire and Holyhead too but if there is a 6 month off season then they can be achieved quite easily.  More likely is that we will see Lynx on the run next year double tripping while a more permanent solution is found.  Outside of that, its all about the marketing - no amount of ads will get loyal customers to like North Wall (unsurprisingly!) so its all about selling them the best of Dun Laoghaire and keeping them as customers.

I for one will miss the HSS having travelled on her numerous times over the years.  Most recent trip was just about 10 days ago on a rough old day on the Irish sea.  Swift was tied up for 3 days and the HSS (and her always excellent crew) handled the waves like a pro. 

Pete




Re: Stena Line - New Tonnage for North Channel Reply #23 on: April 23, 2011, 08:58:18 AM
Quote
Quote
with the withdrawl of the HSS stena will make a step back of 15 years and deffo not the way too compete with low cost airlines
Given the running costs of the HSS, I don't think they had much choice.

That said: HSS crossing time to Stranraer on the current timetable is 2hr10 / 2hr20, depending on sailing (2hrs / 2hr10 Stranraer to Belfast).  Stena's press release announcing the Superfast leases talks about a crossing time of 2hr15 (partly thanks to the move to Loch Ryan Port).  They're not really losing anything.

(...and personally, always preferred the slow boats anyway, they have a far more relaxed feel about them.  Will miss Navigator, myself.)

The HSS is unique in my eyes and personally I hate sitting on a old boat to china

But also it will be sad to see all 3 ships going but especially the HSS



Re: Stena Line - New Tonnage for North Channel Reply #24 on: April 23, 2011, 08:59:55 AM
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Would look forward to that Scott...I have a vivid memory of standing on McCaughey Road with my father when I was about ten, and seeing three of the Saints across the Victoria Channel being outfitted. All were still in red lead, and seemed to be massive in comparison to anything we had seen before that. With all four having served on the North Channel, they really are 'our' ferries! Also managed a bridge visit to the Stena Antrim some years ago...very special trip!

Sam, Yes, I feel like I've grown up with them and will certainly feel we are worse off when the Caledonia leaves. If you're interested, I have a selection of photos at http://www.flickr.com/photos/scottmackey

Does anyone have pics of the 3 saints being built?
« Last Edit: April 24, 2011, 10:58:58 PM by admin »



Re: Stena Line - New Tonnage for North Channel Reply #25 on: April 23, 2011, 04:45:59 PM
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Scott,

Some impressive shots there...from memory, only the Galloway originally had a bulbous bow...the St. Christopher / St. Anselm / St. David all had bow rudders if memory serves me. Caledonia must have had hers added later. Pity about the stern sponsons though...ruin an otherwise impressive (if not exactly svelte) design.

Yes, the Caledonia had the bulbous bow added in 1999 along with the sponsons. These definitely did nothing for her aesthetically as you say, but undoubtedly contributed to her lengthy career. I believe that had she not been modified in this manner she would, almost certainly, have left these shores years ago...



Re: Stena Line - New Tonnage for North Channel Reply #26 on: July 07, 2011, 09:22:25 PM
Video of the new port under construction for Stena Line on tis youtube channel.

http://www.youtube.com/stenaline#p/u/13/VO9vJgvqBk8

« Last Edit: July 07, 2011, 09:23:09 PM by Ferry_Fan »



Re: Stena Line - New Tonnage for North Channel Reply #27 on: July 09, 2011, 06:55:03 PM
Glad to see the the new port in Cairnryan is making good progress, does anyone yet know a date for operation off the new port and is their a proposed new timetable yet.




Re: Stena Line - New Tonnage for North Channel Reply #28 on: July 19, 2011, 11:03:09 AM
Some news on the two new vessels for Belfast

http://www.portalmorski.pl/artykul/index/remontowa-zmodernizuje-dwa-promy-dla-stena-line/19035

(Translated by Google Chrome)

Entering Superfast VII and Superfast VIII to Gdansk is provided in the second half of August 2011.

The two sister units Superfast Ferries VII and VIII are operated by Stena Line AB will go to rebuilding the Gdansk Repair Shipyard. Rebuilt will include decks for trucks and passenger space with restaurants , bars and spaces for recreation. Swedish shipowner charter a Superfast VII and VIII for a period of three years. - unfortunately we can not give the total cost of reconstruction - said Joakim Kenndal, communications director Stena Line AB. - We are bound by trade secret. Unofficially it is said that the total cost of reconstruction is approximately 14 million euros. Both ships were built at HDW shipyard in Kiel in 2001 to a Greek shipowner Superfast Ferries. In 2006, were sold to the Estonian Tallink shipowner. Stena Line chartered the units from the Estonian company in early 2011. Individuals can take 717 passengers and cargo to 1924 meters. Reach speeds of 27 knots. Ferries come into operation in autumn 2011 to connect Belfast-Stranraer, which will eventually be converted into a Belfast-Cairnryan route



Re: Stena Line - New Tonnage for North Channel Reply #29 on: July 22, 2011, 01:27:23 PM
More details on the rebuild from the shipyard.

http://www.remontowa.com.pl/index.php?n=566

Two Stena Line chartered sister ferries come to Remontowa for major refit

Tallink and Stena Line entered in a charter agreement for sister vessels Superfast VII and Superfast VIII servicing the route between Rostock and Helsinki so far. From Autumn 2011, after transformation of passenger and cargo spaces at "Remontowa", they will join Stena Line UK fleet for a 3 years deal including a 1 year option for both vessels. Stena will be able to buy the vessels once the charter ended

Superfast VII and Superfast VIII will be used on the Irish Sea route linking Belfast and Stranraer (with the latter to be replaced by Loch Ryan soon). The vessels will undergo an extensive refit programme in order to be upgraded according to Stena Line requirements for the new route for these ships. The ferries come to Gda[ch324]sk - based "Remontowa" Shiprepair Yard in the second half of August for this refit, upgrade, repairs and maintenance programme.
This will include stripping all passenger cabins off decks 7th and 8th. They will be replaced by common passenger spaces with restaurants, bars and entertainment functions. Also car decks will be modified and all necessary changes or upgrades to general ship's systems will be performed. In result, the pair will be converted from overnight ferries (with 678 beds) to day ferries to operate an intensive 2 hours 15 minutes crossing.
As reported on www. stenaline.ie: “Both vessels will be given extensive refits to ensure 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”.
After conversion, the 27 knot Superfast VII and Superfast VIII will be able to handle 1200 passengers with 660 cars or 120 freight vehicles. The two ferries will enter into service in autumn 2011.
The ferries to be upgraded at "Remontowa" before the end of Autumn 2011 were built at HDW Yard, Kiel, in 2001 for Greek Superfast Ferries. In 2006, they were sold to Estonian Tallink. The Superfast VII and the Superfast VIII will replace the HSS Stena Voyager, the Stena Caledonia and the Stena Navigator on the Belfast-Stranraer run.