Stena Line has announced that they will be streaming the “launch” of their second E-Flexer ferry tomorrow morning. This second E-Flexer is the first of two allocated to the Belfast to Liverpool route. As well as witnessing the “launch” (actually a floating ceremony, as with many modern vessels), viewers will get to find out the name of the new vessel for the first time. All that is publicly known at present is that the vessel will have the Stena prefix and a name starting with ‘E’, like with STENA ESTRID. The link to the live stream will be posted tomorrow to the Stena Line Group Twitter and LinkedIn pages. NI Ferry Site will also retweet the link whenever it becomes available.
The construction of the first Stena E-Flexer, STENA ESTRID, has continued alongside the second and third vessel in the series. The third vessel will become Britanny Ferries GALICIA with the fourth also currently allocated to the Belfast to Liverpool route. The keel of GALICIA was laid on the same day as STENA ESTRID was launched and so it is likely that the keel for vessel four will be laid within the next few days.
STENA ESTRID was moved to the fitting out pier on February 20th. The first pre-fabricated cabin unit was hoisted onto her on March 16th and fitted into place. This was the first of some 239 such units which are to be fitted to the vessel. The cabins are being produced onsite at the AVIC Weihai shipyard in a new purpose-built facility, and are already pre-fitted with TV’s and furniture when hoisted on to the vessel. Once in place, the cabin units need to be connected to the ships plumbing, ventilation, and electrical networks and have carpets fitted. By the end of March, some 44 cabin units were already fitted to the vessel.
STENA ESTRID is expected to enter service on the Holyhead to Dublin route early in 2020, with the second E-Flexer vessel to be “launched” tomorrow entering service later in the same year.