Brittany Ferries First New E-Flexer Ferry Delivered

‘Galicia’ Immediately chartered to French company on delivery to Stena RoRo

Stena’s vessel acquisition, sales, and chartering division, Stena RoRo, has announced that it has taken delivery of E-Flexer number 3GALICIA. On delivery from CMI Jinling (Weihai) yesterday, the ship was immediately long-term chartered to Brittany Ferries. The delivery follows a “pre-delivery” ceremony which took place two weeks ago at the yard. The brand-new ferry will soon leave China for Europe.

Built to Stena’s “E-Flexer” design, GALICIA is a part-sister to Stena Line’s STENA ESTRID and STENA EDDA. Among the special adaptations made for Brittany Ferries are the addition of 168 cabins taking the total complement to 343. This was achieved by extending the superstructure of the vessel further aft and replacing the dedicated car deck on deck 7 with cabins. Unlike the Stena Line examples, GALICIA is equipped with in-line exhaust gas scrubbers with one fitted to each of her two main engines. This will allow Brittany Ferries to use standard fuel oil instead of the more expensive low sulphur fuel oil used by Stena Line and others, while still meeting emissions limits.

GALICIA seen undertaking sea trials ahead of her delivery. Brittany Ferries.
GALICIA seen undertaking sea trials ahead of her delivery. Brittany Ferries.

Inspired by Spain

In a change to the original plan for the interior to be designed by Spanish interior designers, Stena’s long-term interior design partner Figura Arkitekter was responsible for the interior design of the vessel. It remains to be seen whether Brittany Ferries will make some additional tweaks before the vessel enters service. Sweden-based Figura, led by Rikard Nilsson, was also responsible for all of the interior architecture and design on STENA ESTRID and STENA EDDA. While the layout will be largely familiar to anyone who has travelled on one of the Stena Line E-Flexer sisters, GALICIA has her own internal look and feel inspired by Spain. GALICIA also boasts two public restaurants instead of the single one onboard the Stena Line ships and has a larger shop.

A composite image showing the main restaurant on GALICIA. Brittany Ferries.
A composite image showing the main restaurant (‘Azul’) onboard GALICIA. Brittany Ferries.

Flag change

According to industry publisher Shippax, GALICIA is being brought from China to Europe under the command of a crew from Stena subsidiary Northern Marine. Once she arrives in Europe at the end of her 10,000+ nautical mile voyage, it is expected that there will be a period of crew familiarisation and a brief dry-docking before GALICIA debuts around mid-December. At present GALICIA flies the UK flag and with a home port of Portsmouth, but she is expected to switch to the French flag ahead of entering service. From March 2021, GALICIA is expected to be dedicated to the Portsmouth – Santander and Cherbourg routes.

Three delivered, six to go

Among the six further Stena E-Flexer ships on order is STENA EMBLA, which will be next to be delivered. STENA EMBLA is a slightly modified sister of STENA EDDA and is expected to be delivered before the end of 2020 to start service early in 2021. She will join STENA EDDA on the Belfast – Liverpool (Birkenhead) route in place of STENA MERSEY. Like sister-ship STENA LAGAN, STENA MERSEY is to be rebuilt and lengthened in Turkey for a new career away from the Irish Sea.

STENA EMBLA floats for the first time at what was then still AVIC Weihai, 15.11.19. CMJL (Weihai)
Stena E-Flexer #4 STENA EMBLA floats for the first time at what was then still AVIC Weihai, 15.11.19. CMJL (Weihai).

Brittany Ferries has agreed to charter two further E-Flexer’s from Stena RoRo. Named SALAMANCA and SANTOÑA, they will be similar to GALICIA but will run on LNG fuel. As a result, they will have slightly less freight capacity due to the additional space required for LNG storage and equipment. As with all E-Flexer’s, GALICA is also prepared for easy conversion to LNG and carries DNV-GL’s “GAS READY” notation.

DFDS also has a single E-Flexer on order from Stena RoRo. Named CÔTE D’OPALE, the DFDS ship will be another bespoke customisation of the E-Flexer platform tailored for the intensive Dover – Calais crossing.

Galicia at a glance

Side profile drawing of GALICIA. Brittany Ferries.
Side profile drawing of GALICIA. Brittany Ferries.
Length214.5m
Breadth27.8m
Draught6.4m
Gross tonnage40,500
Number of decks10
Number of passenger decks3
Design speed22 knots
Passenger capacity1015
Crew85
Cabins343
Pet-friendly cabins22
Vehicle capacity3,100 lane metres or 155 trailers
Main engines2 X 12,600Kw Caterpillar MaK 12 M43 C