Stena Line’s multipurpose ferry STENA EUROPE completed over 21 years of service on the Fishguard to Rosslare route this evening.
The 1981-built ferry was replaced by the recently refurbished STENA NORDICA from tonight’s delayed 19:30 departure from Rosslare to Fishguard.
Welcome to Morocco
Following a dry docking at Falmouth, STENA EUROPE will begin a charter adding additional capacity between Morocco and Spain. Operation Marhaba, where Moroccans living abroad return home for summer, is well underway. The operation is utilising over 30 ferries this year to provide sailing capacity for over 500,000 passengers per week between Morocco and Europe.
Another Stena Line vessel, STENA VINGA, is already in service for Intershipping between Algeciras and Tangier Med as part of Operation Marhaba. Marhaba means welcome in Arabic and the operation officially ends on 15 September.
The STENA EUROPE first entered service on the Fishguard route on 13 March 2002 in place of KONINGIN BEATRIX. This followed a £4.5m investment in the ship with the work undertaken at Cityvarvet in Gothenburg. Since then STENA EUROPE has been ever present on the route, only leaving for maintenance and to provide refit cover on other routes.
Further refurbishment was undertaken in 2008 and 2010. During the €2.3m 2010 makeover a Stena Plus lounge was added in a space previously occupied by the a la carte restaurant and a bar.
As STENA EUROPE approached 40, the ship became increasingly unreliable and so in 2019 she was sent to Türkiye for life extension work. While some refurbishment was undertaken during the vessel’s six month absence, the focus was on technical upgrades.
Despite this life extension work, age has caught up with STENA EUROPE and the ship has become increasingly costly to maintain and operate. During February 2023, Stena Line confirmed that STENA EUROPE would be replaced later in the year by STENA NORDICA. The latter vessel was already undergoing upgrade work in Poland to make her more suitable for the Fishguard service.
STENA NORDICA is a much newer and modern ferry than STENA EUROPE and has been comprehensively refurbished ahead of taking over the Rosslare to Fishguard route on a permanent basis.
An additional accommodation module was added during STENA NORDICA’s time in Poland. This contains a new Stena Plus lounge, Hygge reclining seat lounge, and two cinemas.
Updated 15.07.23 to add two newly published videos from Stena Line.