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Stena Embla | Stena Line

Stena Embla Fast Facts

Current Name: Stena EmblaPrevious Names: ZHAO SHANG 266 / China Merchants Jinling W0266 [yard names]
Shipyard: China Merchants Jinling Shipyard (Weihai) Co. Ltd. [CN], W0266, W0266IMO Number: 9807322
Current Operator: Stena Line Irish Sea Ferries Ltd, Birkenhead, EnglandCurrent Route: Belfast [NI] - Liverpool (Birkenhead) [GB]
Length Overall: Beam:
Passenger Capacity: 927 (1000 including crew)Vehicle Capacity: 3,100 lane metres of freight (plus 120 passenger cars in their own dedicated garage on deck 7)
Tonnage: Sister-ships: STENA ESTRID * , STENA EDDA * (* Stena Embla is built to a slightly different design but is virtually identical from a passenger perspective)

Stena Embla Introduction

Stena Embla is the second of two brand-new ferries being introduced on the Belfast to Liverpool (Birkenhead) route by Stena Line in 2020 and 2021. She is the third of five new “next-generation” E-Flexer class ferries ordered by Stena RoRo for service with sister-company Stena Line. Stena Embla is a slightly modified sister to the first two vessels in the series, STENA ESTRID and STENA EDDA.

From the start of steel cutting to delivery, STENA EMBLA took 25 months to construct. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on the shipyard and suppliers, STENA EMBLA was delivered on-time in November 2020. Senior Master Captain Neil Whittaker took delivery of the vessel with his team. Stena Line CEO Niclas Mårtensson took part in the delivery via video link from Gothenburg due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.

STENA EMBLA made her first arrival in the UK at Holyhead, where she called for a couple of hours in the early hours of January 2. At around 11:45 the same day she arrived at Belfast, completing her month-long delivery voyage from China.

During February 2021, STENA EMBLA indirectly replaced STENA MERSEY on the Belfast – Liverpool (Birkenhead) route. As a result, she will operate opposite sister-ship STENA EDDA on the route, and STENA MERSEY will go for rebuilding in Turkey. Once completed, ‘Mersey’ will join her sister-ship STENA LAGAN on the Baltic Sea Ventspils – Nynashamn route.

Embla?

Stena Line are using a new naming scheme with their E-Flexer vessels, choosing to use female Nordic names beginning with “E” with the usual Stena prefix. The names of the first three vessels were chosen via a staff competition.  According to Stena Line, Embla:

is an Old Norse name. In Norse mythology it was the name of the first woman. Its origin comes from the Old Norse word for ‘elm’. 

Onboard Passenger Facilities

The passenger facilities on STENA EMBLA are virtually identical to STENA ESTRID and STENA EDDA. Like those ships, passenger facilities are spread out over 4 decks as follows.  

Public facilities are housed on Deck’s 7 and 8. The latter of these also houses approximately half of the passenger cabins.  Deck 9 is a cabin and crew deck while Deck 10 is at the top of the ship and has a passenger accessible sun deck.  

Sky Bar. © Stena Line
Sky Bar on Stena Edda and Stena Estrid. © Stena Line

A total of 175 passenger cabins are provided including six deluxe cabins and disabled cabins. This is a significant increase in the number of cabins provided on STENA MERSEY.

Outside deck space is plentiful, with promenade decks on both sides of deck 7, a sun deck on deck 10, and outside decks aft on decks 8 and 9. The spaces on decks 8 and 9 also double up as balconies for the deluxe cabins.

For a detailed impression of how STENA EMBLA looks inside, see our first look inside Stena Estrid feature. STENA EMBLA is virtually identical to her sisters, with only minor cosmetic changes inside. The photos below are from sister-ships STENA ESTRID and STENA EDDA. These will be replaced when detailed photos of STENA EMBLA become available.

Internal Layout plan

A photograph taken onboard STENA ESTRID of the side layout plan. On this plan you can see which staircases go to which decks. The green and purple staircases also have lifts. © NIFerry.co.uk
A photograph taken onboard STENA ESTRID of the side layout plan. On this plan you can see which staircases go to which decks. The green and purple staircases also have lifts. © NIFerry.co.uk

Stena Embla Deck 7 Facilities and Layout Plan

  • Dedicated car deck with direct walk-through access to the passenger facilities.
  • Guest Services.
  • ‘Barista’ Coffee House.
  • Outlet Onboard (shop).
  • ‘Happy World’ children’s play area and lounge.
  • ‘Taste’ restaurant with digital menu boards.
  • Two outside promenade decks with smoking section (port / starboard).
  • Twelve temperature controlled enclosed dog kennels with owner access via key code, CCTV, and outside exercise area.
  • Male, Female, and Disabled Toilets and Baby Changing area.
  • Free Wi-Fi access.
'Taste' restaurant seating. © NIferry.co.uk.
‘Taste’ restaurant seating overlooking the bow of STENA ESTRID. © NIferry.co.uk.

Stena Embla Deck 7 Plan

A photograph taken onboard STENA ESTRID of the Deck 7 layout plan. © NIFerry.co.uk
A photograph taken onboard STENA ESTRID of the Deck 7 layout plan. © NIFerry.co.uk

Stena Embla Deck 8 Facilities and Layout Plan

  • ‘Stena Plus’ premium lounge (additional fee applies) with table service and dedicated toilet facilities.
  • ‘Hygge’ recline lounge (additional fee applies).
  • Interactive ‘Experience wall’.
  • The ‘Living Room’ lounge.
  • ‘Truckers’ commercial drivers lounge and restaurant.
  • Video games and gaming area.
  • ‘Happy World’ children’s play room.
  • The ‘Sky Bar’ bar and lounge.
  • Two separate free movie lounges.
  • A selection of passenger cabins including three deluxe cabins with balcony access and disabled cabin.  All cabins are secured using a digital ‘VingCard’ system and have a ‘BazePort’ infotainment TV system installed.
  • Male, Female, and Disabled Toilets.
  • Free Wi-Fi access.
  • Outside deck space aft.
The large atrium dominates the Sky Bar which is located on Deck 8, midships. © NIferry.co.uk.
The large atrium dominates the Sky Bar which is located on Deck 8, midships (STENA ESTRID). © NIferry.co.uk.

Stena Embla Deck 8 Plan

A photograph taken onboard STENA ESTRID of the Deck 8 layout plan. © NIFerry.co.uk
A photograph taken onboard STENA ESTRID of the Deck 8 layout plan. © NIFerry.co.uk

Stena Embla Deck 9 Facilities and Layout Plan

  • A selection of passenger cabins including three deluxe cabins with balcony access and a disabled cabin.  All cabins are secured using a digital ‘VingCard’ system and have a ‘BazePort’ infotainment TV system installed.
  • The remainder of Deck 9 is occupied by crew accommodation areas and the navigation bridge.
  • Free Wi-Fi access.
  • Outside deck space aft.
  • Crew facilities and cabins
STENA ESTRID Deluxe Cabin. © David Faerder.
STENA ESTRID Deluxe Cabin. © David Faerder.

Stena Embla Deck 9 Plan

A photograph taken onboard STENA ESTRID of the Deck 9 layout plan. © NIFerry.co.uk
A photograph taken onboard STENA ESTRID of the Deck 9 layout plan. © NIFerry.co.uk

Stena Embla Deck 10 Facilities and Layout Plan

  • Sun Deck.
The sun deck. © David Faerder.
The sun deck, Stena Estrid. © David Faerder.

Stena Embla Deck 10 Plan

A photograph taken onboard STENA ESTRID of the Deck 10 layout plan. © NIFerry.co.uk
A photograph taken onboard STENA ESTRID of the Deck 10 layout plan. © NIFerry.co.uk

Key Dates – Stena Embla

11.03.2016Contract date 1
05.04.2016Stena confirms that an order has been signed by Stena RoRo for 4 “E-Flexer” ferries plus four options at AVIC Weihai. The fourth of these would become Stena Embla.
15.10.2018Steel cutting started
18.04.2019Keel laid
15.11.2019Floated out and outfitting started
15.10.2020Start of sea trials
18.10.2020Sea trials completed
18.11.2020 / 19.11.2020Vessel completion and delivery
19.11.2020Switched from UK to Cypriot registry.
Home port now Limassol (previously Liverpool)
01.12.2020Stena Embla sets sail from Weihai to Europe
07.12.2020Arrival in Singapore to take on supplies and bunkers
08.12.2020Left Singapore for Galle, Sri Lanka
12.12.2020Outside port limits call at Galle to take on armed guard for transit to Suez Canal
Started transit of the Suez Canal
28.12.2020 / 29.12.2020Stena Embla’s first arrival in Europe (Algeciras)
02.01.2021First arrival in the UK (Holyhead)
02.01.2021First arrival in Belfast
14.01.2021Entry into commercial service (Rosslare – Cherbourg)
January 2021First commercial arrival in Belfast and first sailing direct to Birkenhead

Stena Embla Technical Data

Side-profile drawing of the standard Stena Line E-Flexer class. Image: © Stena Line.
Side-profile drawing of the standard Stena Line E-Flexer class. Image: © Stena Line.
Stena Embla
IMO Number9807322

Callsign

MGGH4
ClassStena “E-Flexer” Passenger and Ro-Ro Cargo (Ro-Pax) ferry
Building YardChina Merchants Jinling Shipyard (Weihai) Co., Ltd., Shandong Province, China
(previously known as AVIC Weihai Shipyard Co., Ltd)
Hull NumberW0266
DesignStena RoRo / Deltamarin
Naval Architect Deltamarin, Turku, Finland
Project ManagementStena RoRo
Deltamarin (EPCM)
Contract Date Ordered by Stena RoRo on March 11, 2016 1.
(Part of a contract for 4 initial vessels with options for a further 2 + 2)
Order announced on April 5, 2016
Completion / Delivery
Hull NumberW0266

Certification

DNV GL Class 1A
Type: 410 – Car Ferry
Additional Class Notations1A Ferry(A) BIS BWM(T) Clean COMF(V-2) E0 Gas ready(D, MEC) Ice(1A) NAUT(AW) Recyclable TMON VIBR1
Current Operator Stena Line Irish Sea Ferries Ltd, Birkenhead, England
Vessel Management Stena Line
In service (Stena Line)
Usual RouteBelfast [NI] - Liverpool (Birkenhead) [GB]
Length Overall 214.481 m 1
Length B.P.202.518 m 1
Beam27.297 m (28.436 extreme) 1
Draught 6.7 m 1

Gross Tonnage

41,671 GT 1
Deadweight7,700 1
Number of Decks 10
(3 passenger decks plus sun deck)
Main PropulsionMain-propulsion package supplied by Caterpillar Marine including
2 x Caterpillar MaK 12 M43 C V12 4-stroke marine diesel propulsion engines built by Caterpillar Motoren Rostock GmbH, Rostock, Germany.

Each main engine is coupled to a Caterpillar supplied gearbox (Renk RSHL-1120).

2 x Caterpillar (Berg) Feathering Controllable-Pitch Propellers MPP 1410f (PB58547).

This ship is Gas Ready and also prepared for scrubber and catalytic converter installation should it be required. Spaces for additional equipment for these retrofits have been included in the design. While the installed engines are “Gas Ready”, in order to run with Methanol or LNG these engines will require upgrading to MaK 12 M46 dual-fuel specification.
Other Machinery3 x Wärtsilä 8L20 auxiliary engines, supplied by Wärtsila Finland Oy.

2 x Wärtsila WTT24 CP 2,400kW bow thrusters, supplied by Wärtsilä Netherlands
(space provision is made for the addition of a third bow thruster should it be required in the future)

1 x S12A2-M(P)TA Emergency Generator, supplied by Mitsubishi Turbocharger and Engine Europe B.V.

    1 x S12A2-M(P)TA Emergency Generator, supplied by Mitsubishi Turbocharger and Engine Europe B.V
2 x WE Tech 2,600kW permanent magnet shaft generators, with variable frequency drive (WE Drive) connected to a DC-link switchboard (WE Tech solution 4) for bow thrusters and Power Take Out (PTO) (WE Tech solution 1).

2 x “high lift” EMPRESS-EMPIRE (fully twisted leading edge and bulb, combined with a rudder flap) rudders, supplied by MM-Offshore GmbH, Germany
(For increased efficiency, the propeller hubs are integrated into the rudder bulbs)

2 x Mitsubishi retractable fin stabilisers
Power (Max)25,200 kW
Design Speed 22 kts

Passenger Capacity

927 (1000 including crew)
Crew 73 *
(* figure quoted by Stena for standard layout)
Passenger Cabins 175 passenger cabins, consisting of; 167 x four-berth cabins, 6 x two-berth premium “deluxe” cabins, and 2 x two-berth disabled cabins. In total 684 passenger cabin berths are provided.

Vehicle capacity

3,100 lane metres of freight (on decks 1, 3, and 5) plus 120 cars on an additional deck (Deck 7)
Lane Metre BreakdownDeck 1 (lower hold): 345 lm approx. with 4.8m free height.

Deck 3 (main freight deck): 1,320 lm approx. with 5.2m free height.

Deck 5 (upper freight deck): 1,435 lm approx. with 5.2m free height.

Deck 7 (car garage) has a volume of 1,800 m2 approx.
Vehicle accessTwin-level-drive-through loading configuration with direct access via bow and stern doors on decks 3 and 5.

Tilting ramps between deck 3 and 5, and deck 5 and 7 allow all decks to be accessed via single-level shoreside facilities.

Access to deck 1 is via a 3.3m wide fixed ramp covered by a hatch.

Flag state (port)

As-built sister-shipsSTENA ESTRID * , STENA EDDA * (* Stena Embla is built to a slightly different design but is virtually identical from a passenger perspective)
Technical data for Stena Embla. These details are believed to be correct at the time of publication, but may be subject to change.

Key Supplier Information

Shipyard China Merchants Jinling Shipyard (Weihai) Co., Ltd., China
(Previously known as AVIC Weihai Shipyard Co., Ltd)
Design and ConceptStena RoRo, Sweden
Consulting Naval ArchitectDeltamarin, Finland
Hull DesignDeltamarin, Finland
Tank TestingMARIN, Netherlands
Technical ConsultantStena Teknik, Sweden
Project ManagementStena RoRo, Sweden / China
Engineering, Procurement, & Construction ManagementDeltamarin, Finland / China
Interior ArchitectureFigura Arkitekter, Gothenburg, Sweden
Interior DesignFigura Arkitekter, Gothenburg, Sweden
Certification SocietyDNV-GL, Norway
OutfittingR&M (Reinhold & Mahla), Hamburg, Germany / Weihai, China
Additional Outfitting Norgi Marine, Poland / Madden Marine, Belfast
Main EnginesCaterpillar Motoren GmbH & Co. KG (MaK), Germany
Gearbox and Controllable Pitch PropellersCaterpillar Marine / Caterpillar Propulsion Production, Sweden 
(Packaged gearbox’s manufactured by Renk, Germany)
Variable-Frequency Shaft Generators and Electrical SwitchboardWe Tech, Finland
Auxiliary EnginesWärtsilä, Finland (Manufactured in China)
Bow ThrustersWärtsilä Netherlands B.V., Netherlands
Emergency GeneratorMitsubishi Turbocharger and Engine Europe B.V., Netherlands
StabilisersMitsubishi Heavy Industries Marine Machinery & Equipment Co. , Ltd.
RuddersMM-Offshore GmbH, Oldenburg, Germany
Steering GearRolls-Royce Commercial Marine, Norway
Access Equipment (including all ramps)TTS Marine AB, Sweden / Finland
Heating, Ventilation, and Air ConditioningNovenco, Denmark / China
(package includes chillers AHU, VAV cabin units, fans and all control systems)
GlazingSaint-Gobain S.A., France
Galley EquipmentAluminox S.A., Greece
FurnitureVarious (including R&M; Capdell, Spain; vitra, Switzerland; and bespoke joinery by the outfitting teams)
LiftsKone, Finland
LifeboatsJiangsu Jiaoyan Marine Equipment Co., Ltd, China
Marine Evacuation SystemSurvitec / RFD Beaufort, United Kingdom
Fire fighting EquipmentMinimax / Marioff
Simulator TrainingLiverpool John Moores University Maritime Centre, England
A non-exhaustive listing of some of the companies involved in the Stena Embla project. Countries are indicative of the country each company is based in and not necessarily the country of manufacture. Note that while the suppliers used on STENA EDDA and STENA ESTRID remain consistent throughout the E-Flexer series, Brittany Ferries and DFDS have opted to use their own choice of suppliers on some aspects of their vessels.  For instance, DFDS’s CÔTE D’ OPALE will have an HVAC system supplied by Heinen and Hopman rather than Novenco.  DFDS also intends to appoint its own interior designers in addition to Figura. Figura’s services are included as part of each company’s build and charter contracts with Stena RoRo, however.

Sources & Further Reading

References and Further Reading
  1. Vesselregister.dnvgl.com. 2020. DNV GL Vessel Register. [online] Available at: <https://vesselregister.dnvgl.com/vesselregister/vesselregister.html> [Accessed 19 November 2020].[][][][][][][][][]

Steven Tarbox

Steven is a ferry blogger and photographer from Belfast. He founded NI Ferry Site in 2014, and still acts as the editor. Steven also looks after all of the technical aspects of the website.
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