Brand-New Ship Calls at Irish Capital for the First Time
Update 23.12.19 @ 08:30: STENA ESTRID is currently arriving at Holyhead for the first time, having slow-steamed overnight to the Welsh port. Stena’s newest ferry left Dublin just prior to midnight having berthed at berth 51 as planned. She joins fleet-mate STENA SUPERFAST X in port, which will be the vessel she ultimately replaces. The latter is berthed at T5 preparing for her morning departure to Dublin. This is the third time the two ships have met, with STENA ESTRID vacating the berth in Dublin for STENA SUPERFAST X last night, with “X” then passing the new ship on her overnight voyage to Holyhead. STENA ESTRID is currently backing on to T3, normally used by Irish Ferries, alongside STENA SUPERFAST X.
Stena Line’s first “next generation” E-Flexer ferry STENA ESTRID arrived in Ireland for the first time a short time ago. The much anticipated new ship has just met the tugs SHACKLETON and STRATHFOYLE close to Poolbeg lighthouse, with the former sailing to starboard of the new ferry and the former to port as she entered Dublin Port itself. Stena’s brand-new ferry is currently paying a short visit to Dublin for berthing trials at Stena’s berth 51 while en route to Holyhead from her builders yard in China. On her way into the port she met future running mate STENA ADVENTURER in Dublin Bay having appeared to wait for her. This delayed the arrival of the new ship until around 21:30.
It is expected that STENA ESTRID will spend Christmas at Holyhead along with fleet-mates STENA ADVENTURER and STENA SUPERFAST X which are also expected to layover at the Welsh port. ‘Estrid’s’ call at Dublin will be brief with her departure estimated at around 22:30 according to Dublin Port vessel movements, suggesting a stay of around 60 minutes. Stena Line has confirmed that the visit is for berthing trials.
STENA ESTRID has covered in excess of 10,000 nautical miles in the past month since she left her builders yard at Weihai on November 22. Her journey saw her call at Singapore for fuel and supplies before progressing to Galle in Sri Lanka where it is thought she took on security personnel during a slow pass just outside the port prior to transiting across the Arabian see to the Gulf of Aden, a notorious piracy hotspot. It is common practice to take precautions prior to passing through the Gulf of Aden due to the risk posed from Somali pirates. STENA ESTRID‘s next stop was at Suez after she had passed through the Suez Canal, before she set course for Europe, arriving at the Spanish port of Algeciras on December 18.
At Algeciras, additional crew were taken onboard for training and familiarisation as well as supplies and fuel. She left Algeciras the following evening, and despite sailing into a storm off the coast of the Iberian Peninsula and through the Bay of Biscay, STENA ESTRID continued to make impressive time despite waves in excess of 10 metres! Having sailed through the worst of the weather the new ferry slowed down today with time to spare before her planned arrival at Dublin at 21:00. She also briefly met fleet mate STENA EUROPE as she sailed through St Georges Channel earlier today. Her planned arrival at Dublin at 21:00 was timed to allow STENA ADVENTURER to load and depart for her usual scheduled sailing to Holyhead at 20:40.
STENA ESTRID is expected to enter service between Holyhead and Dublin around the middle of next month. She is the first of three brand new sister-ships being introduced to Stena Line’s Irish Sea services as part of an investment costing hundreds of millions of Euro, with STENA EDDA and STENA EMBLA joining the Belfast – Liverpool route in 2020 and 2021 respectively. For more information on STENA ESTRID, see her dedicated page here. Stena Line have also released some internal renders and a 360 degree virtual tour of her interior which can be viewed here.