Former Dun Laoghaire to Holyhead ferry HSS Stena Explorer reportedly sold to Turkey.
Brokerage and HSC specialists Maatsuyker this morning reported via twitter that Stena's HSS Stena Explorer has been sold for static use in Istanbul, Turkey. Stena Explorer was of course the first of 3 HSS1500 class craft built by Aker Finnyards for Stena Line, and is the sole survivor of the class. Her sisters, Stena Voyager (which previously operated Belfast - Stranraer), and Stena Discovery (which originally operated Harwich - Hoek van Holland, and latterly named HSS Discovery) have already been "recycled" in Sweden and Turkey respectively. All 3 HSS1500 class have been regular visitors to Belfast in the past, with Harland & Wolff appointed as the sole dry-docking facility for the class.
End of an era today as the surviving HSS 1500, Stena Explorer, is sold.
— Maatsuyker HSC (@MaatsuykerHsc) October 23, 2015
HSS Stena Explorer has been laid up in Holyhead following her withdrawal from the seasonal Dun Laoghaire to Holyhead service last year. There has been much speculation about her future ever since, with many (including NIFS) believing that she was destined to follow the path taken by her sister, Stena Voyager, to the Stena Metall recycling facility at Landskrona back in 2013. However, it seems that she has been saved, albeit not for further use as a ferry. A further smaller HSS craft, HSS Stena Carisma, which was the sole HSS900 class completed, remains laid up at Gothenburg.
UPDATE 24/10.15 @ 13:50: NIFS can reveal that the tug Bluster is currently en-route to Holyhead. According to her owners website, her next job is to tow a ferry from Holyhead to Turkey.
Title image: HSS Stena Explorer pictured with HSS Stena Discovery in Belfast, back in 2008. Copyright © Alan Geddes.