Stena Estrid back in service, Stena Europe en-route to Belfast

Stena Line’s STENA ESTRID returned to service as planned yesterday following engine repairs at Loch Ryan Port. The E-Flexer class ferry released STENA NORDICA, with the latter sailing straight to Fishguard. Having rested for a time at anchor off the Welsh port, STENA NORDICA released STENA EUROPE with a delayed 14:10 departure from Fishguard this afternoon.

STENA EUROPE is expected to arrive in Belfast tomorrow morning. She will rest at the ship repair quay until tomorrow evening when she will move to Belfast Building Dock. Stena Line has previously stated that STENA EUROPE will dry dock for around two weeks this year. At present the Stena Line Freight timetable has her returning to the Fishguard – Rosslare route on July 1.

Stena Line’s STENA NORDICA seen on her first day back in service on the Rosslare – Fishguard route, 16.06.20. The normal vessel on the route, STENA EUROPE left for dry dock at Harland & Wolff later the same day. Copyright © Brian Boyce

Harland & Wolff has confirmed that contrary to our previous report there is no issue with the gate at Belfast Dry Dock. The company have brought Belfast Building Dock back into operation so that Belfast Dry Dock can undergo a 10 year survey and have planned maintenance carried out. Harland & Wolff also hope to have multiple vessels dry docking simultaneously in the near future. There has been a lot of interest in using the facility and a number of bookings have already been made.

Belfast Building Dock, which is still one of the largest in the whole of Europe at 556m x 93m, is big enough to accommodate multiple vessels simultaneously. For example, in 2005 Irish Ferries’ ISLE OF INISHMORE and JONATHAN SWIFT both comfortably fitted inside along with an oil platform! Multiple vessels have also used Belfast Dry Dock simultaneously, such as SEATRUCK PERFORMANCE and SEATRUCK PRECISION when being rebranded. Still amongst the largest dry docks in the UK, it is much smaller than the Bulding Dock at “just” 335m long.

Arrow leaving Belfast Building Dock, 13.06.20, after completing docking in the recently reactivated dock. © John Wood / Harland & Wolff.

The Isle of Man Steam Packet’s Seatruck managed Ro-Ro ARROW was the last vessel to dry dock at Harland and Wolff, leaving Belfast Building Dock last Saturday afternoon.

(updated 21.06.20 – image caption fixed)