[Photo Feature] Rosslare Snapshot, October 2021

By: Gary Andrews
REGINA SEAWAYS backs onto the berth at Rosslare for the first time. Image: © Matt Davies.
REGINA SEAWAYS backs onto the berth at Rosslare for the first time. Image: © Matt Davies.

Rosslare was traditionally a port which saw little change in ships.  The regular ferries seemed to serve the port for years on end.

If we live in changing times generally, the same is very true of Rosslare Europort in 2021.

Stena Europe's distinctive funnel. Image: © Matt Davies.
Stena Europe’s distinctive funnel. Image: © Matt Davies.

Since our last feature on the port in May 2021, there have been some further changes.  NIFS’ correspondent, Matt Davies was travelling through the port 2-3 October 2021 and captured some of the latest developments.   We focus particularly on the REGINA SEAWAYS and STENA VINGA.

A quick re-cap of 2021

We have seen Brittany Ferries operating the CONNEMARA to Bilbao and Cherbourg.  The CAP FINISTÈRE and ARMORIQUE also seen service at the Wexford port.

DFDS has used no less than seven different vessels on their Dunkerque – Rosslare “Brexit Buster” route.  The full list is OPTIMA SEAWAYS, VISBY, KERRY, DROTTEN, PELAGOS, ARK DANIA and now REGINA SEAWAYS.

Irish Ferries introduced the BLUE STAR 1 to allow the ISLE OF INISHMORE to begin a Dover – Calais route.

BLUE STAR 1. Image: © Matt Davies.
BLUE STAR 1. Image: © Matt Davies.

Stena Line’s regular Rosslare – Fishguard ship STENA EUROPE, has seen a variety of ships alongside her at the port, operating on the company’s service to Cherbourg.

The STENA FORETELLER has been a regular ship on the run all year until recently replaced by the STENA VINGA.  The long-time Rosslare – Cherbourg vessel, STENA HORIZON, swapped for some months with the STENA ESTRID from Holyhead – Dublin.  The STENA EMBLA even put in a brief appearance on the route.

STENA HORIZON and STENA VINGA at Rosslare. Image: © Matt Davies.
STENA HORIZON and STENA VINGA at Rosslare. Image: © Matt Davies.

Baltic Swap

The REGINA SEAWAYS made her first sailing on the Dunkerque – Rosslare route on the evening of 1 October 2021.  Arriving early evening, ‘Regina departed on her maiden sailing from Ireland late on 2 October.  The Italian-built ropax has spent her entire career on DFDS routes from Klaipeda, mainly the Kiel service.

REGINA SEAWAYS has taken the place of the Visentini KERRY, chartered from Stena RoRo.  KERRY has now transferred to DFDS’ Klaipeda – Karlshamn route, most likely until the arrival of the newbuild AURA SEAWAYS.  The reason for the swap appears to be to use the new vessel’s higher speed to offer increased schedule flexibility.

Stena Temporary Swap

STENA VINGA replaced STENA FORETELLER at the start of September.  The move allowed the ‘Foreteller to increase capacity on the Belfast – Birkenhead route.   However, STENA VINGA is only a temporary vessel on Rosslare – Cherbourg and will be replaced by the roro SEATRUCK PANORAMA in December.  SEATRUCK PANORAMA is temporarily back with her owners, Seatruck, to cover their vessel overhaul programme.

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