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[Photos and video] Stena Embla arrives in Belfast

Stena Embla is Stena Line’s third new ship to be added to Irish Sea routes

As we reported yesterday, the third of Stena Line’s three new ships for Irish Sea services arrived in Belfast yesterday. The E-Flexer class Ro-Pax STENA EMBLA will join sister-ship STENA EDDA on the Belfast – Liverpool route later this month.

The ship has arrived just in time to meet an expected increase in freight demand on the route due to Brexit. STENA EMBLA will increase freight capacity on the Belfast – Liverpool route by around 20%. The arrival of the new ship completes a £400m investment by Stena Line in its Irish Sea services.

Paul Grant, Stena Line’s Irish Sea Trade Director said: “The arrival in Belfast of our newly built Stena Embla is yet another important milestone in the ongoing enhancement programme of our Irish Sea services.  We have now invested over £400m in our ferries and port facilities on the Irish Sea in recent years.  The Belfast-Liverpool route is one of the most popular Irish Sea crossings for both freight and leisure traffic so having a second vessel of the calibre of Stena Embla, with a host of high-quality passenger facilities, will further increase its appeal and expand our capacity.”

STENA EMBLA on the berth at Victoria Terminal 2 following her maiden arrival in Belfast, 02.01.2021. Ahead of her is the Belfast - Heysham freight ship STENA SCOTIA. In the background is SEATRUCK PANORAMA which is currently on charter to Stena Line as the third ship on the Belfast - Liverpool route. Stena Line.
STENA EMBLA on the berth at Victoria Terminal 2 following her maiden arrival in Belfast, 02.01.2021. Ahead of her is the Belfast – Heysham freight ship STENA SCOTIA. In the background is SEATRUCK PANORAMA which is currently on charter to Stena Line as the third ship on the Belfast – Liverpool route. Stena Line.

“In March 2020 we launched our new build Stena Edda onto the Belfast-Liverpool service and the feedback from our freight and leisure customers was extremely positive. Now we will have two ships offering identical services and facilities which will help take our service levels on the route to new heights.  We have real confidence in the future of our Belfast services and our Irish Sea routes in general, which is why this region has attracted three brand new ships in the last 12 months alone.”

STENA EMBLA arrives at Belfast Victoria Terminal 2 for the first time, 02.01.2021. Stena Line.
STENA EMBLA arrives at Belfast Victoria Terminal 2 for the first time, 02.01.2021. Stena Line.

Paul Grant concluded: “Clearly 2020 has been a difficult year for our business, however, despite this Stena Line has remained resolute in our ongoing commitment to driving our freight and travel business forward in the region.”

Joe O’Neill, CEO of Belfast Harbour said:

“Following the arrival of the Stena Edda, it is fantastic to see Stena Embla now arriving in Belfast demonstrating Stena Line’s on-going commitment to Belfast and Northern Ireland.   We are particularly delighted to welcome the most sustainable and digitally enhanced ships on the Irish Sea which very much fits with our own commitment to the environment and our ambition of being the world’s best regional port. 

STENA EMBLA arrives at Belfast Victoria Terminal 2 for the first time, 02.01.2021. Stena Line.
STENA EMBLA arrives at Belfast Victoria Terminal 2 for the first time, 02.01.2021. Stena Line.

“Our investment strategy aims to ensure that we provide the best facilities to our port users and tenants. Belfast Harbour made a multi-million pound investment in the ferry terminal to accommodate these new larger vessels and following celebrating Stena’s 25th anniversary in Belfast in November, we look forward to partnering with them in the years ahead to support their ongoing success.”

Captain Neil Whittaker and crew onboard Stena Embla following her maiden arrival in Belfast, 02.01.2021. Stena Line.
Captain Neil Whittaker and crew onboard Stena Embla following her maiden arrival in Belfast, 02.01.2021. Stena Line.

Although allocated to the Belfast – Liverpool (Birkenhead) route, sources suggest that she may have a short spell covering STENA ESTRID on the Holyhead – Dublin route first. STENA ESTRID, which this month celebrates a year since entering service, is understood to require a short period of maintenance.

Paul Grant (Trade Director Irish Sea), Captain Neil Whittaker (Senior Master - Stena Embla), and Howard Hillis (Operations Manager) on the vehicle deck of STENA EMBLA. Stena Line.
Paul Grant (Trade Director Irish Sea), Captain Neil Whittaker (Senior Master – Stena Embla), and Howard Hillis (Operations Manager) on the vehicle deck of STENA EMBLA. Stena Line.

Stena Embla technical info

The following table is as provided by Stena Line

BuilderCMJL (Weihai) – China Merchants Jinling Shipyard (Weihai) Co Ltd
TypeRo-Pax ship
Ferry route / homeportsBelfast – Birkenhead (Liverpool)
OperatorStena Line
Speed22 kn / 41 kph / 25 mph
Length (LOA)215 m / 705 ft
Beam (width)28 m / 92 ft
Gross Tonnage41,671 gt
Deadweight Tonnage9,777 gt
Lane Meters3,100
Passengers1,000
Cars120
Freight vehicles210
Cabins175
Table source: Stena Line Press Release

For more information on STENA EMBLA, see her dedicated page here.

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Steven Tarbox

Steven is a former retail professional and a ferry writer and photographer. He created NI Ferry Site as a web design project in 2014 to be a news and information source for everyone with an interest in ferries, with a particular focus on Northern Ireland. Steven is the editor of the website and looks after all of the technical aspects.
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