SEATRUCK PERFORMANCE is now in service between Warrenpoint and Heysham, having replaced SEATRUCK PANORAMA on the schedule on Friday night with the service from Heysham. Meanwhile SEATRUCK PANORAMA made her way to the wet basin at Cammell-Laird Birkenhead.
Panorama and Precision in Birkenhead
SEATRUCK PANORAMA operated her last sailing from Warrenpoint to Heysham with the morning sailing to Heysham on Friday 31st August. After discharging at Heysham she left the Lancashire port to anchor at Liverpool Anchorage. At lunchtime on Saturday she left the anchorage, making her way to the Wet Basin at Cammell-Laird.
At around the same time STENA PRECISION moved the short distance from the Wet Basin to Dry Dock Number 5 for her end of charter dry-docking and the completion of her repainting and renaming to SEATRUCK PRECISION. Repainting had already commenced on the port side while alongside at the Wet Basin, as can be seen in the photo above. The only visible change to the starboard side seems to be the loss of her Stena Line funnel markings, something which will be rectified in dry-dock no doubt!
Seatruck to Increase Capacity at Dublin as well?
At present there has been no confirmation of what the next deployment will be for SEATRUCK PANORAMA. Speculation suggests she may replace CLIPPER RANGER on the Dublin to Liverpool route however. The route has fuelled impressive growth at Seatruck, especially since CLIPPER RANGER was added as a third vessel. She was replaced by the larger CLIPPER PACE only to be added as an additional vessel again in late 2016 as growth continued. CLIPPER RANGER is very much the baby of the current Seatruck operational fleet, and much smaller than her operating partners SEATRUCK PROGRESS, SEATRUCK POWER, and CLIPPER PACE.
CLIPPER RANGER would likely be in demand on the charter market as her smaller than normal dimensions by modern standards make her perfect for tighter harbours. At present her sisters are chartered to Northlink and Isle of Man Steam Packet. Notably CLIPPER RANGER has previously been on charter to Caledonian MacBrayne. “CalMac” have had capacity problems all summer and are said to require another small ro-ro freighter like CLIPPER RANGER, though nothing has been confirmed officially.
What next for Clipper Pennant?
Once her dry-docking is completed, SEATRUCK PRECISION will replace CLIPPER PENNANT on the Warrenpoint to Heysham route. This will complete the planned replacement of both vessels on the route to increase capacity by about 30%. Like her sister-ship, SEATRUCK PANORAMA, it is not yet publicly known what her next assignment will be, though it is likely that at least one of ‘Panorama’ or ‘Pennant’ will be chartered out to another operator.