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Stena Estrid Makes Belfast Debut In Place of Stena Superfast VIII

Dublin – Holyhead Ferry Covering Cairnryan Route for Next Five Weeks

Stena Line’s STENA ESTRID took over from STENA SUPERFAST VIII as planned yesterday morning. Holyhead-based ‘Estrid’ left Belfast just after 7am, passing inbound STENA SUPERFAST VIII shortly after off Holywood. STENA ESTRID had arrived in Belfast three hours earlier, having sailed overnight from Holyhead.

She met sister-ship STENA EDDA for the first time since the pair were under construction in China last year just after 6am when the latter ship passed inbound from Birkenhead. ‘Estrid’ also met STENA SUPERFAST VII for the first time (Edit: in service) yesterday morning when the two ships passed in the North Channel.

STENA ESTRID and STENA SUPERFAST VIII meet for the first time in Belfast Lough, 10.09.20. Copyright © Steven Tarbox
STENA ESTRID and STENA SUPERFAST VIII meet for the first time in Belfast Lough, 10.09.20. Copyright © Steven Tarbox

Superfast VIII at Harland & Wolff for Planned Maintenance

With STENA ESTRID in service, STENA SUPERFAST VIII arrived at Victoria Terminal 4 at the end of her later than usual sailing from Cairnryan (Loch Ryan Port) and discharged her passengers and cargo. After taking on supplies for her maintenance, ‘VIII’ left for Harland & Wolff’s Commissioning Quay at around 09:15.

STENA SUPERFAST VIII backs down Musgrave Channel towards Harland & Wolff's Commisioning Quay, 10.09.20. Copyright © Steven Tarbox
STENA SUPERFAST VIII backs down Musgrave Channel towards Harland & Wolff’s Commisioning Quay, 10.09.20. Copyright © Steven Tarbox

By 10am the ship was tied up at the shipyard, having turned at the turning circle in order to approach the quay stern first.

STENA SUPERFAST VIII backs down Musgrave Channel towards Harland & Wolff's Commisioning Quay, 10.09.20. Copyright © Steven Tarbox
STENA SUPERFAST VIII backs down Musgrave Channel towards Harland & Wolff’s Commisioning Quay, 10.09.20. Copyright © Steven Tarbox

STENA SUPERFAST VIII is expected to undergo work at the Commissioning Quay for a number of days before she goes into dry dock. Once complete, sister-ship STENA SUPERFAST VII will then go for her own dry docking at the yard.

STENA SUPERFAST VIII at Harland & Wolff's Commisioning Quay, 10.09.20. Copyright © Steven Tarbox
STENA SUPERFAST VIII at Harland & Wolff’s Commisioning Quay, 10.09.20. Copyright © Steven Tarbox

It has been confirmed that STENA NORDICA will cover STENA ESTRID on the Dublin – Holyhead route until the end of September. It is not yet clear which ship will provide cover for the remainder of her five-week absence from the route, however. STENA NORDICA reportedly needs to return to Poland for dry docking at the start of October.

The ship has been on loan to Stena Line UK and Ireland since the start of 2019, having initially only been expected to be absent from her usual Karlskrona – Gdynia route for a few months.

Steven Tarbox

Steven is the editor of NIFerry.co.uk having established the site in 2014. He lives near Belfast.
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