Marine Atlantic Opts For Stena to Supply New Ferry

By: Steven Tarbox
An artists impression of Marine Atlantic's new Stena E-Flexer ferry which is expected to be delivered in 2024. Image: Stena RoRo.
An artists impression of Marine Atlantic's new Stena E-Flexer ferry which is expected to be delivered in 2024. Image: Stena RoRo.

Tenth E-Flexer confirmed as going to Canadian operator

Following a competitive procurement process, Canadian operator Marine Atlantic has selected a variant of Stena’s E-Flexer series as its next new ferry. The ship, which will be a dual-fuel (diesel or LNG) battery hybrid design, is expected to be delivered during 2024. She will be the tenth E-Flexer ferry to be completed.

Marine Atlantic’s announcement yesterday came just a day after Brittany Ferries revealed that it had opted to order a further two E-Flexer vessels, adding to the three that it has already had delivered or are in construction.

A side profile image of Brittany Ferries' new Stena E-Flexer ferry for the Portsmouth to Saint-Malo service.  Image: Stena RoRo.
A side profile image of Brittany Ferries’ new Stena E-Flexer ferry for the Portsmouth to Saint-Malo service. Image: Stena RoRo.

A new E-Flexer variant

The Marine Atlantic E-Flexer will be 202.9m long, a derivative that was developed specifically for the company. This is shorter than the standard 214.5m design but longer than the 194.7m-long version Brittany Ferries has opted for with its two latest examples. As with all ferries in the E-Flexer series to date, the new Marine Atlantic vessel will be built by China Merchants Jinling (Weihai). That shipyard has already delivered five of the series in less than two years.

Marine Atlantic's BLUE PUTTEES. She was originally one of Stena's 'Seabridger Mk1
Marine Atlantic’s BLUE PUTTEES. She was originally one of Stena’s ‘Seabridger Mk1″ class freighters STENA TRADER. Along with her sister HIGHLANDERS she was shortened and converted into a passenger vessel for Marine Atlantic by Stena RoRo in 2011. After initially chartering the vessels Marine Atlantic purchased them outright from Stena in early 2015. © Marine Atlantic.

Accommodation will be provided for a total of 1,000 passengers. The ship will be equipped with 146 passenger cabins (including pet friendly cabins) and 40 passenger sleeping pods. In terms of passenger facilities, there will be a variety of food service options, seating lounges, a children’s play area, and pet kennels. Marine Atlantic’s new ferry will be able to run on either marine diesel or LNG. The ship will also be fitted with batteries to allow limited totally emission free running.

Gary O’Brien, Chair, Board of Directors, Marine Atlantic said:

“As an essential service and vital part of the national supply chain, this new vessel will play an important role in helping us to continue to meet the needs of our customers. The design of the vessel combines key priorities such as maneuverability, safety, accessibility, while minimizing environmental impacts, to provide our customers with a modern, efficient and reliable service.”,c3387931

According to Marine Atlantic, their new ferry will be suitable for both of its routes linking North Sydney with Port aux Basques and Argentia. The company has not yet confirmed which vessel in its current fleet the new build will be replacing.

About Marine Atlantic

Marine Atlantic is a Canadian federal Crown corporation which provides ferry services linking Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. Funding for the vessel was provided in the Canadian Governments 2019 budget. In line with the terms of that funding, Marine Atlantic will charter the new ship for five years. At the end of the five year period the company will have the option to purchase the ferry outright.

Stena has a long relationship with Marine Atlantic dating back to the early 1970’s when the Swedish company chartered ferries to Marine Atlantic predecessor CN Marine. Three of Marine Atlantic’s current fleet of four vessels were purchased from Stena RoRo after charters – HIGHLANDERS (ex STENA TRAVELLER), BLUE PUTTEES (ex STENA TRADER), and LEIF ERICSON (ex STENA CHALLENGER). The fourth vessel in the fleet, ATLANTIC VISION, is chartered from AS Tallink Grupp.

Confirming the charter agreement, Per Westling, managing director for Stena RoRo, highlighted the company’s history in providing tonnage to Marine Atlantic:

“Marine Atlantic is a former customer of ours,”

“We delivered one ferry in 2000 and two more in 2010 to Marine Atlantic, all of which are still in service. We were successful in executing this new charter contract after a very competitive and extensive procurement process. We are extremely pleased to be able to continue to deliver high quality ships to this important customer”.

Fellow Swedish company Rederi AB Gotland was the other bidder to make it to the final round of the procurement process.

New Marine Atlantic Ferry At A Glance

Marine AtlanticBrittany Ferries (St. Malo)Brittany Ferries (Caen)
E-Flexer No101211
Passengers1,000 (plus approx. 100 crew)1,2901,310
Cabins146 (plus 40 sleeping pods)386220
Vehicle Space2 571 lane metres
(including 476 lane metres for private cars)
2,377 lane metres
(including 176 lane metres for private cars)
(including 1,388 lane metres for private cars)
PropulsionDiesel or LNG with batteriesLNG Electric hybridLNG Electric hybrid
Delivery2024Late 2025Late 2024
Please note that these details are provisional and may be subject to change.

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