The first of Stena’s E-Flexer ferries, STENA ESTRID, left the AVIC Weihai shipyard on Thursday (5.09.19) for what appears to be the first of her sea trials. According to her data on VesselFinder.com she reached a speed of 22.8 kts, though she went out of range of radio AIS transponders at around 22:45 UK time on Thursday night. By this stage she had travelled over 60 nautical miles from the shipyard. She returned to the shipyard on Friday after more than 24 hours at sea. STENA ESTRID is expected to enter service on the Dublin to Holyhead route early in 2020. She is understood to be at an advanced stage of fitting out.
Once she has been completed and everything is deemed satisfactory, STENA ESTRID will be delivered to Stena RoRo at the shipyard and transferred to sister-company Stena Line. She will then make her way to the British Isles on a delivery voyage of over 10,000 nautical miles from Northern China. This is a similarly lengthy voyage to that undertaken in the early-2000’s by P&O’s EUROPEAN CAUSEWAY, EUROPEAN AMBASSADOR (now STENA NORDICA), and EUROPEAN HIGHLANDER after they were handed over in Japan.
STENA ESTRID is the first of at least nine Stena E-Flexer class ferries being built in China for Stena RoRo. Sister company Stena Line is taking five examples, while Brittany Ferries are to receive three units and DFDS one. The second E-Flexer, STENA EDDA, is expected to enter service on the Belfast – Liverpool (Birkenhead) route during 2020.
For more information on the Stena’s ‘next generation’ E-Flexer series, please see our dedicated overview page here.
Updated 09.09.19 19:42: Changed title