Stena Forecaster | P&O Ferries

By: Steven Tarbox
Last updated:

STENA FORECASTER is a Ro-Ro freight ferry. She currently sails on P&O Ferries Liverpool – Dublin service. She also formerly operated the freight-only shoulder sailings on the Belfast – Liverpool (Birkenhead) route for Stena Line. She replaced her sister-ship STENA FORERUNNER on that route during February 2019. STENA FORECASTER is the second of three identical sister-ships built for Stena RoRo by the Dalian shipyard in China.

Before her introduction at Belfast, she had most recently been used to ship Airbus aircraft components across the Atlantic from Europe to America, including entire aircraft fuselages.

Prior to that, she had been chartered out to Finnish operator Transfennica then Tunisian operator COTUNAV. As a dedicated freight vessel STENA FORECASTER only has capacity for 12 passengers, all of whom are frieght drivers.

STENA FORECASTER moored at 12 Quays North Birkenhead showing her just changed homeport of Douglas, 10.02.19. Copyright © Rob Foy.
STENA FORECASTER moored at 12 Quays North, Birkenhead, showing her just changed homeport of Douglas, 10.02.19. Copyright © Rob Foy.

During 2020, STENA FORECASTER was withdrawn from the Belfast – Liverpool route after a drop in demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She sailed to Upsalla in Sweden where she was laid up with a number of other Stena-owned vessels including sister-ship STENA FORETELLER. During October 2020 it was revealed that STENA FORECASTER would replace MISTRAL on P&O Ferries Liverpool – Dublin route.

Technical Data

Technical Information

Name (as-built)

IMO Number 9214678

Call Sign




1A1 General cargo carrier RO/RO Clean Container DG(P) E0 Ice(1A) ICS NAUT(AW) TMON

Ice Class 1A

Design Name

Stena 4-Runner Mk II

Original Naval Architect


Pelmatic AB, Gothenburg (since absorbed into Knud E. Hansen A/S, Copenhagen, Denmark) – Stena Forerunner Mk I
Deltamarin, Turku, Finland – Changes for Stena Forerunner Mk II

Original Interior Architect (Outfitter)

Steen Friis design logo

Steen Friis Design A/S (-)

Constructed by

Dalian shipyard industry logo

Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Company (Dalian “old” Shipyard), Dalian, Liaoning province, China

Yard Number


Contract Price

Keel Laid






Originally in Service

June 2003, Hankö [FI] – Lübeck [DE] (on charter to Transfennica)


Length Overall (between perpendiculars)

195.3m (179.2m)





Total Number of Decks



Gross Tonnage


Net Tonnage










3,000 lane metres of freight or 851 TEU’s

Lane Metres

3000 total

·      Upper deck: 1,280 lm

·       Main deck: 1190 lm

·       Tank top: 530 lm

Vehicle Decks (Free Height)

·       Upper: Open deck (5m)

·      Main: 6.8m (8.1m in raised aft section)

·       Tank top: 5.1m

Current Passenger Facilities

Number of Passenger Decks

Number of Passenger Cabin Decks


Number of Cabin Berths (number of cabins)

12 (12)

Current Passenger Facilities (Deck)

Deck #


Equipment and Machinery

Main Propulsion Package

Wartsila logo

Four Wärtsilä NSD Sulzer 8 ZAL 40S marine diesel engines, driving Renk NDSHL-3000 dual-input-single-output reduction gearboxes with power take-off, in pairs.  Two 5.0m diameter KaMeWa controllable-pitch propellers turning at 130 rpm

Total Max Main Engine Power

24,000kW (32,900 bhp)

Aux Engines

Wartsila logo

Two Wärtsilä-Sulzer 9L20C diesel engines and one MAN D2842 LE emergency generator


KaMeWa logo

Two Rolls Royce/KaMeWa TT2000 1,100kw bow thrusters


Becker marine systems logo



Flume tank

Access Equipment


Vehicle Access

Stern ramp to main deck with hoistable ramp to upper deck and fixed ramp to tank top.


Trial Speed


Service Speed (design/usual)


Fuel Consumption at Design Speed (if known)



39t/24hr at 18kts using 2 engines

Current Status

Current Registered Owner

Stena RoRo

Current Operator

P&O Ferries (Irish Sea)

Current Route

Liverpool – Dublin

Current Flag (Port)

Isle of man flag red ensign

Isle of Man (Douglas) [since 10.02.19, previously Sweden (Goteborg)]

Other Info

Designed to be able handle MAFI’s, cassettes, containers, and other outsized loads as well as normal trailers in both commercial and military scenarios.

References and further reading

Shippax Designs 02



Design and Construction

STENA FORECASTER and her sisters STENA FORETELLER and STENA FORERUNNER are built to the Stena 4-Runner MkII design by Stena and Knud E. Hansen. The 4-Runner Mk II design is based on the earlier Stena 4-Runner design with some key changes. The Mk II design was lengthened by 12.5m to 195.3m, which together with a new less complex hull form allows the later vessels to achieve an extra half knot in speed using the same engines. The additional length also increases cargo capacity by close to 300 lane metres, while the layout of the vehicle decks was revised to allow the main deck to be totally flat with a free height of 8.1m aft allowing large pieces of cargo to be transported with the protection of being inside the vessel rather than on the weather deck. Being a Stena design, 4-Runner Mk II incorporates many possibilities for future modifications. Most notably an additional vehicle deck can be added taking the total vehicle capacity to 4,150 lane metres.

Side profile drawing of STENA FORERUNNER. Copyright © Steven Tarbox
Side profile drawing of STENA FORERUNNER. Copyright © Steven Tarbox

As-built the 4-Runner Mk II class can handle MAFI’s, cassettes, containers (up to 851 TEU’s), and other outsized loads as well as normal trailers in both commercial and military scenarios. Vehicles are housed on three separate decks and enter the vessel via a stern ramp to the main deck. A hoistable ramp on the port side provides access from the main deck to the upper (weather) deck, while a fixed ramp located centrallly aft connects the main deck and the tank top. All decks have a free height of at least 5.1m, with the main deck offering an increased free height of 6.8m rising to 8.1m in the aft section. Accommodation for drivers and crew is provided across four decks situated forward with the bridge deck above. Crew and passenger cabins are situated on deck 3 (officer cabins are on deck 4), with separate facilities for passengers and crew provided on decks 2 and 1.

The drivers mess/dining room onboard STENA FORERUNNER. Copyright © Scott Mackey.
The drivers mess/dining room onboard STENA FORERUNNER. Copyright © Scott Mackey.

Passenger Facilities & Photos

The following photos are of STENA FORECASTER‘s sister-ship STENA FORERUNNER when she was in service between Belfast and Birkenhead, and have kindly been provided by Scott Mackey.  We hope to add photos of STENA FORECASTER herself in the near future.

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Stena Forecaster Gallery

Under Construction.  More photos will be added as they become available.

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