Stena Estrid Expected In Service During Mid-January
Stena Line’s newest ferry, STENA ESTRID, arrived in Singapore earlier today, signalling the end of the first leg of her journey to the Irish Sea. The brand new ferry left CMI Jinling (Weihai) shipyard week ago today having been delivered to Stena Line a few days previously. STENA ESTRID is the first of five next generation Stena Line RoPax vessels to be completed at the shipyard. She appears to have already taken on bunkers from the tanker SENTEK 32 at Singapore anchorage.
The 2,657 nautical mile trip across the South China and then East China Sea to Singapore was undertaken at around 17 knots. At this speed STENA ESTRID and her sister-ships can sail using just one of their Caterpillar MaK 12,600 kW main engines, thus reducing fuel burn. A reduced crew of 27 is sailing the ship from Weihai to Gibraltar, where they will be joined by additional crew members who will undertake familiarisation and training on the final leg of the journey.
Having refuelled and stocked up on fresh provisions at Singapore, STENA ESTRID is expected to proceed at a speed of 15 knots through the Malacca Straits to Galle in Sri Lanka. She will then cross the Indian Ocean on her way to the Suez Canal. Once through the Suez Canal, the ship will head west across the Mediterranean Sea, continuing at 15 knots until she reaches Gibraltar where she will stop for more fuel and provisions and pick up her additional crew.
The final leg of the journey will take STENA ESTRID up through the Atlantic Ocean past Portugal, across the Bay of Biscay and finally to the Welsh port of Holyhead, where, all being well, she is expected to arrive just before or after Christmas. Once at Holyhead, final preparations will begin for STENA ESTRID to enter service in mid-January 2020. In total the journey from Weihai to Holyhead exceeds 10,000 miles.
Speaking from the ship’s bridge, shortly after departure, Senior Master Matthew Lynch said:
“After six years of planning and construction, we are so excited to be finally on board Stena Estrid and departing China on our way home to Britain.
“At this precise moment, we’ve only travelled approximately 70 miles but it was an interesting start to our journey as we passed a fleet of over 100 Chinese fishing vessels! We obviously have a very long way to go but we’re really looking forward to it and to meeting with our colleagues in Gibraltar, before embarking the final leg of our journey to Holyhead,” he added.
Three New Irish Sea Ships
STENA ESTRID is the first of three Stena E-Flexer class ferries to enter service on the Irish Sea. Sister-ships STENA EDDA and STENA EMBLA will join the Belfast – Liverpool (Birkenhead) route in 2020 and 2021 respectively. The two new ships will replace STENA LAGAN and STENA MERSEY. This will increase freight capacity on the Birkenhead route by around 20% and also allow more passengers to be carried. Works to accommodate the new vessels are well underway at both Belfast and Birkenhead.
Stena Estrid Fast-Facts
The name Estrid is connected to Stena Line’s Scandinavian heritage. It is an Old Norse eastern-Nordic version of the name Astrid. Estrid is commonly found on old runestones and means ‘divinely beautiful’.
|Builder||AVIC Weihai Shipyard Co (Weihai, China)|
|Ferry route / homeports||Dublin-Holyhead|
|Speed||22 kn / 41 kph / 25 mph|
|Length (LOA)||215 m / 705 ft|
|Beam (width)||28 m / 92 ft|
|Gross Tonnage||42,400 gt|
STENA ESTRID is the first Stena Line passenger ferry to be built in China. She is the first of nine E-Flexer class vessels ordered by Stena RoRo from the former AVIC Weihai Shipyard Co. Five of the ships will go to Stena Line, while Brittany Ferries are chartering three and DFDS are chartering one.