Stena Estrid ready for Irish Sea debut

Stena Estrid ready for Irish Sea debut

Stena Line’s newest ferry Stena Estrid is set to sail on the Holyhead-Dublin route from mid-January. The vessel recently completed a five-week 10,000 mile journey from the AVIC Weihai Shipyard in north-western China, where she was built.

The name Estrid is connected to Stena Line’s Scandinavian heritage. It is an Old Norse eastern-Nordic version of the name Astrid. Estrid is commonly found on old runestones and means ‘divinely beautiful’.

The first of five next generation Stena Line RoPax vessels to be completed at the Chinese shipyard, Stena Estrid is now undergoing final preparations before entering service. At 215 metres in length, Stena Estrid has the space to carry 120 cars and 1,000 passengers, with a freight capacity of 3,100 lane metres, meaning a 50% increase in freight tonnage.

During her journey from China the vessel was manned by a much-reduced crew of 27, with no passengers on board. She made a number of stops along the way to refuel and stock up on fresh provisions.

The first stage of the journey was a 2,657 nautical miles trip to Singapore, from where she progressed through the Malacca Straits to Galle in Sri Lanka, before crossing the Indian Ocean and making her way up through the Suez Canal.

A trip across the Mediterranean Sea took Stena Estrid to Algeciras where she was joined by onboard sales and services crew members to undertake familiarisation training during the final leg of her journey, which saw her travel through the Atlantic Ocean and across the Bay of Biscay before finally arriving at her new home in Holyhead.

Speaking after the arrival of the vessel, Senior Master Matthew Lynch said: “After six years of planning and construction, and five weeks of sailing around the world, it’s hard to believe that we’re finally here in Holyhead.  

“It’s been an amazing journey for all of us and I must say that I’m blown away by Estrid - from the way she looks, the quality of the build and finish, the facilities on board and, of course, how she handles herself at sea.

“Anyone who knows me knows that my expectations are always very high and Estrid has far exceeded them. I’ve worked on passenger vessels for 24 years – seven on cruise ships and 17 on ferries – and this ship really is revolution not evolution.”

A further two of the new ferries are also destined for the Irish Sea with Stena Edda expected to commence operations from Liverpool to Belfast in the spring, and a third vessel Stena Embla to be introduced on the same route in early 2021. The introduction of these two ships will increase freight capacity on the Liverpool to Belfast route by 20 per cent.