[PR] Stena Line announces new measures to ensure safe ferry travel this summer

By: Press Releases
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With the potential easing of lockdown restrictions and the re-emergence of non-essential travel, the Swedish ferry company Stena Line has announced a set of safety measures aimed at ensuring ferry travel is the safest form of public transport. Social distancing, fog machines, fresh sea air inside the ships and the recommended wearing of face coverings, are all seen as key to reassuring customers about the future of ferry travel as countries reopen their borders in the coming weeks.

Stena Line’s ferries have played a vital role during the pandemic keeping supplies of food, medicines and equipment moving across Europe. As people look forward to being able to travel this summer, Stena Line has been receiving an increase in passenger bookings. In advance of the return of sea corridors reopening to tourist travel the company has been finalising extensive new safety measures to combat the spread of COVID-19 and ensure a safe and seamless journey:

  • Easier social distancing – ferry travel is the only form of public transport where passengers can social distancing easily. Stena Line has undertaken risk assessments, which have capped the numbers of passengers on each crossing to guarantee adequate space. 
  • Fresh sea air is now being circulated into the air filtration systems on all ferries.
  • New fog machines are being used to sanitise communal areas and cabins on the ferries and alongside the continuous cleaning routines being undertaken throughout the ships.
  • From Monday 15th June face coverings are recommended for all passengers and crew on Stena Line vessels, and in terminals, on all routes on the Irish Sea and the North Sea, where social distancing is difficult to achieve, such as in stairwells, lifts and in corridors.

“Ferry travel is the only mode of transport where you can social distance, so it is no surprise that we are now seeing an increase in bookings due to the expected reduction in lockdown restrictions. In advance of the return of international travel we now feel the time is right to tell people about our new anti-COVID-19 measures and reassure them that ferries provide the safest mode of transport for travel passengers and freight drivers. The safety of our passengers and crew is always a top priority for Stena Line.” Says Stena Line’s CEO Niclas Mårtensson. 

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As part of Stena Line’s safety plan to prevent the spread of the Covid-19, an extensive risk assessment identified three key stages of the customer journey to focus on:

  1. During check-in at the Terminal.
  • While onboard the vessels.
  • During embarkation and disembarkation

A list of Stena Line’s anti-COVID-19 safety measures is included below.

“By providing the ability to social distance the whole journey, our big, bright and spacious ferries have plenty of fresh sea air, both inside and out, and offer the safest way to travel for people who want to take a break after the long lockdown” says Niclas Mårtensson, CEO of Stena Line. 

About Stena Line

Stena Line is one of Europe’s leading ferry companies with 38 vessels and 19 routes in Northern Europe. Stena Line is an important part of the European logistics network and develops new intermodal freight solutions by combining transport by rail, road and sea. Stena Line also plays an important role for tourism in Europe with its extensive passenger operations. The company is family-owned, was founded in 1962 and is headquartered in Gothenburg. Stena Line is part of the Stena AB Group, which has about 16 000 employees and an annual turnover of around 37 billion SEK / £3.14 billion / €3.54 billion.

Safety Measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19

At the Terminal

  • All passenger recommended to wear face coverings.
  • All passengers are asked for their health condition when checking in. If any indication of suspected Covid-19, the passenger will be denied boarding. 
  • Increased opportunities for hand wash and disinfection placed in terminals.
  • Special cleaning schedules have been implemented, including Increased frequency of preventive cleaning of “Hand Contact Point Hotspots”.
  • Card payment instead of cash announced where possible and employees are allowed to wear gloves.
  • Sales points/cashiers have been equipped with Plexi-Glass protection.
  • Food service has been adjusted to ensure maximum hygiene. 

Embarkation and Disembarkation

  • All passenger recommended to wear face coverings.
  • Social distancing is encouraged by floor markings and reminders over the public address system.
  • Staged embarkation and disembarkation are practiced where necessary to avoid crowding and maintain social distancing.

On Board

  • All passenger recommended to wear face coverings.
  • All ships have individual risk assessments and have reduced their passenger capacity accordingly to allow for social distancing.
  • Fog machines are being use throughout the vessels to sanitise areas.
  • Increased opportunities for hand wash and disinfection placed in public areas on board.
  • Passengers are reminded about hygiene measures through on-board announcements, posters and digital signage.
  • Increased the frequency of preventive cleaning and disinfection of “Hand Contact

Point Hotspots” such as door handles, access touchpads, telephones. These are

sanitized after each sailing and/or at least three times a day on longer crossings on board. 

  • Single use cabins for customers where possible unless boarded sharing a car or freight unit.
  • Food service has been adjusted to ensure maximum hygiene. Buffet serving has stopped, and we now only offer plate serving and packaged foods.
  • Card payment is encouraged instead of cash and employees are allowed to wear gloves
  • Guest/Crew interaction points have been shielded off with Plexi-glass screens for safety.
  • Certain areas such as Saunas, Kids Playrooms etc have been closed.
  • Ventilation systems are running on 100% fresh sea air, no re-circulation
  • Staff are trained and equipped with suitable PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) to prevent infection.
  • Pre boarding screening of all crew based on self-reporting of symptoms to prevent infection on board. While on board, crew are self-monitoring and any symptoms of COVID-19 leads to isolation and disembarkation of the crewmember as per Company procedure.

Response to suspected COVID-19 on board

Our crew are prepared for any outbreak onboard and the vessels have sufficient space and are equipped for an immediate response, to take the necessary actions required to alleviate the situation. Below are the key steps to manage a possible Covid-19 situation onboard.

  • Trained crew will respond to any suspected case of Covid-19 equipped with PPE
  • Contingency plans are prepared for safe treatment, isolation and subsequent disembarking of suspected Covid-19 cases in cooperation with local health & port authorities.
  • 3rd Party companies have been contracted to assist with deep cleaning if necessary, after a suspected/confirmed case of Covid-19.


15 June 2020

For further information, please see Stena Line’s dedicated page on their website here.

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