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[Photo feature] Ferries in Dry Dock – Part 3 of 4

For our third look at ferries in dry dock at Harland and Wolff, we have photos from one of P&O‘s Mitsubishi-built pair of Larne-Cairnryan vessels. There are also views of two of Seatruck‘s highly successful FSG-class freight ferries while on charter to Stena Line. Finally in this section we have one of the Belfast-Heysham duo, STENA HIBERNIA.

EUROPEAN HIGHLANDER

In March 2014, I was onboard STENA SUPERFAST VII which was at the Ship Repair Quay (SRQ) for some maintenance. Alongside us, in the dry dock was P&O FerriesEUROPEAN HIGHLANDER. I managed to snap a few quick photos of the vessel while I was there. Along with her older near-sister, EUROPEAN CAUSEWAY, the ‘Highlander has proved very successful, operating efficiently on the North Channel for 20 years now.

SEATRUCK PERFORMANCE / SEATRUCK PRECISION (operating for Stena Line as STENA PERFORMER / STENA PRECISION

In 2012, Stena Line chartered two of Seatruck‘s four new FSG Heysham-max vessels for the link between Belfast and the Lancashire port. In the event, the ships stayed with the Swedish company until 2018 when they returned to their owners to operate between Warrenpoint and Heysham.

I visited the ships when they were together in the dry dock being prepared for service with Stena. At this stage painting and renaming was taking place. Uniquely they both occupied the BDD at the same time.

I paid subsequent visits to both vessels at dry dock during their time at Stena Line. Here are some views from those visits.

STENA HIBERNIA

I only managed to get photos of one of Stena‘s current Belfast-Heysham freighters in dry dock. Strangely, since her return to the Irish Sea in August 2018, visiting STENA SCOTIA in refit eluded me. These two workhorses are among the smallest of the current vessels serving Irish Sea routes, but are a real testament to their crews. The Senior Master of STENA HIBERNIA, Captain Sean FitzGerald was always most accommodating of my visits and assisted me greatly in documenting his vessel, including permitting me to visit her twice at H&W.

The final part of our dry dock photo feature will be online tomorrow.

Scott Mackey

Scott Mackey is a Transportation and Transport Research graduate from Ulster University at Jordanstown. He has significant experience in the ferry industry, having worked for Stena Line in onboard services, as a customer services agent and sales support administrator in the freight department. He also has significant experience in public and community transport, having worked for Translink and as project officer of a rural community transport partnership. Scott has written numerous features for shipping and transport magazines and books.
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