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Second brand-new Liverpool ferry ‘Stena Embla’ arrives in Belfast

Stena Embla completes month long delivery journey

The second of Stena Line’s brand-new ferries for its Belfast – Liverpool (Birkenhead) route arrived in Belfast this morning. The ship, STENA EMBLA, is a sister-ship to STENA EDDA which arrived last year.

STENA EMBLA is the third new Stena Line Irish Sea ferry to arrive in just over a year. During her month-long voyage from Weihai, China, she called at Singapore before heading for Sri Lanka then on to the Suez Canal.

As with the other E-Flexer ships, an armed guard was taken onboard off Galle (Sri Lanka) as a precaution against pirates. This is common practice for ships transiting through the Gulf of Aden. While piracy in the area has declined significantly in recent years due to international efforts, a risk still remains.

On entering the Mediterranean, STENA EMBLA set a course for Algeciras, though adverse weather meant she had to stay at sea for a while waiting for a window in the weather.

After taking on bunkers at anchor at Algeciras on December 29, STENA EMBLA had another spell riding out the adverse weather in the relative shelter of the Mediterranean.

STENA EMBLA bunkering at Algeciras on the morning of 29.12.2020. © Tony Davis.
STENA EMBLA bunkering at Algeciras on the morning of 29.12.2020. © Tony Davis.

On the morning of December 30, STENA EMBLA made her way into the Atlantic Ocean with a course set for Holyhead. She made a quick stop at the Anglesey port in the early hours of this morning before heading to Belfast. By midday, STENA EMBLA was on the berth at Victoria Terminal 2. She has since moved across the river to D1 (Belfast Cruise Terminal)

Embla to debut on Holyhead route?

It is expected that STENA EMBLA will now stay in Belfast for a number of days. There have been unconfirmed reports that she could make her maiden commercial voyage between Holyhead and Dublin, acting as a relief ship for STENA ESTRID, before joining the Liverpool route.

Ultimately, STENA EMBLA will replace STENA MERSEY on the Belfast – Liverpool (Birkenhead) route. This will allow STENA MERSEY to go for lengthening and rebuilding before she is deployed on the Ventspils – Nynashamn route as STENA BALTICA later this year. Sister-ship STENA LAGAN is already undergoing the same work in Turkey prior to being renamed STENA SCANDICA.

STENA EMBLA is the fourth of nine “Stena E-Flexer” class ferries to be delivered by the CMI Jinling (Weihai) shipyard in China. The fifth vessel, DFDS’s CÔTE D’OPALE, is expected to be delivered within the next few months.

Update 03.12.2021: Stena Line has made some additional photos and a drone video of the arrival available, which can be viewed here.


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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