Former P&O fast ferry to leave Belfast for Sweden in the next few weeks.
Swedish start-up operator Gotlandsbäten have announced via their official Facebook page that HSC Express will leave Belfast for layup in Helsingborg within the next few weeks. They have also said that she is to commence service at the end of April 2016, operating from both Västervik and Nynäshamn to Visby. Final details and a timetable are to be released by the end of this year.
Although HSC Express is capable of almost 40 knots, it is believed she will operate at just 30 knots for Gotlandsbäten, giving a crossing time of 2 hours and 3 hours respectively. It is not yet clear just how long her season will last however, with reports having varied from just 3 months (June-August) to 9 months.
No new name
HSC Express is to retain her name for her new owner/operator, and it is believed that her owners still intend to register her in Sweden. Recruitment for crew appears to have begun, with adverts having appeared on the Gotlandsbäten Facebook page. Having completed her charter with P&O operating from Larne to Troon, Express is currently laid up at Belfast's Albert Quay.