Stena Lagan / Stena Mersey (Vessel Profile)

STENA MERSEY. Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 22nd February 2017
STENA MERSEY. Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 22nd February 2017 Photographer - © Matt Mackey / Press Eye
Profile of Stena Line's Visentini-built RoPax sister-ships STENA LAGAN (IMO: 9329849) and STENA MERSEY (IMO: 9329851), which operate on the Belfast - Liverpool route. Includes an overview of their history, technical specifications, and photographs of the vessels inside and out.

Fast Facts

  • IMO Number: 9329849 / 9329851
  • Constructed by: Cantiere Navale di Visentini Francesco & C., Donada [IT] #212/#213
  • Also known as:
  • Passenger capacity: 
  • Vehicle Capacity: 
  • Current Operator:
  • Usual Route:


STENA LAGAN and STENA MERSEY are two members of the prolific Visentini series of RoPax ferries.  They were the lead vessels in the current “FlexBow” hull design series, and feature the revised forward superstructure shape of EURO STAR VALENCIA and EURO STAR SALERNO, the previous 2 ships in the series.  FlexBow is a fuel efficient bow design developed by NAOS Design in cooperation with SVA Potsdam designed to reduce drag created by the hull as the vessel moves through the water, which helped LAGAN VIKING (ii) achieve some 25.5kts in her sea trials with just 21,600kW of engine power.

Mersey Viking at Birkenhead on 2nd April 2007. Roger Marks (Displayed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic licence ).
MERSEY VIKING (ii) at Birkenhead on 2nd April 2007. Photo Copyright © Roger Marks and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

STENA MERSEY and STENA LAGAN became Stena operated vessels along with the route they serve when Stena Line acquired most of the Irish Sea assets of DFDS in 2010/2011. Stena Line had originally chartered STENA LAGAN and STENA MERSEY from EPIC shipping, but they were purchased outright by Stena Line in 2012.  Following their purchase the company spent a total of £4.6 million refurbishing the two vessels at Harland and Wolff in 2013 in addition to the £4 million they had spent on the same vessels the previous year. As a result the vessels are totally transformed and almost unrecognisable from their days under previous operators DFDS, Norfolk Line, and Norse Merchant Ferries on the same Belfast to Liverpool ferry service – and from their 22 part-sister ships.  Although the layout of the interior is broadly the same (with the exception of the shared restaurant space which is now split into the Met Bar and Grill, a separate truckers restaurant, and the Stena Plus premium lounge), the original (rather functional) Studio Ancora interior design and furnishings have almost totally been replaced by Stena’s favoured architects Figura Arkitekter.

The relocated Stena Plus lounge onboard STENA MERSEY. Copyright © Scott Mackey.
The relocated Stena Plus lounge onboard STENA MERSEY. Copyright © Scott Mackey 2018.

In terms of overall hull design, STENA MERSEY and STENA LAGAN are very similar to their predecessor vessels (also launched as LAGAN VIKING and MERSEY VIKING and lead vessels of the entire Visentini ro-pax series) even sharing the same overall dimensions, however the newer ships feature a revised, steeper angled and more efficient bow design to reduce drag and improve sea-keeping.  They also have a larger passenger accommodation module and more space for vehicles (an additional 84 passenger cars and 9 trailers) than their predecessors.  The Stena Group of companies currently own or operate more than half of all the Visentini RoPax vessels built.  In order to guarantee passenger comfort, Stena Line operate these vessels on a reduced passenger certificate of 720.  In early 2018 the Stena Plus lounges on both vessels were relocated and enlarged.

Stena Mersey pictured from Stena Lagan in July 2015, as both ships reach the half-way point of their journeys, off the Isle of Man. Copyright © Steven Tarbox
Stena Mersey pictured from Stena Lagan in July 2015, as both ships reach the half-way point of their journeys, off the Isle of Man. Copyright © Steven Tarbox

Interior photographs

For a look around inside Stena Mersey during July ’15, click here

Some interior views of Stena Lagan taken during November ’15 are displayed here

In early 2018 the Stena Plus lounge on both vessels was relocated forward.  Updated photographs can be seen here.

Inside view of the News Room. The TV Screen features live news throughout the crossing. © NIFerrySite
Inside view of the News Room. The TV Screen features live news throughout the crossing. © NIFerrySite

Technical Data

(where different)
IMO Number93298499329851
NAOS Ship and Boat Design S.R.L, Trieste, Italy
Design P241
Building Yard



Cantiere Navale Visentini logo
Cantiere Navale di Visentini Francesco & C., Donada, Italy


Lloyds Register of shipping 100A1

roll-on-roll-off cargo/passenger ship

Hull Number212213
Interior design (as built)Studio Ancora, Ancona, Italy
(no longer trading)
Interior design (Stena Line)
Figura arkitekter logo
Figura Arkitekter, Göteborg, Sweden
Stena Line logo
Previous ownersEpic Shipping, Hong Kong/UK (until  04/2012)
Levantina Transporti, Italy (until 11/2008)
Current Operator
Stena Line logo
CompletedJuly 2005November 2005
In service (original)July 2005November 2005
In service (Stena Line)December 2010December 2010
Call sign (Stena)2BGR62BPR6
Previous names and operators (oldest first)LAGAN VIKING (ii)
(Norse Merchant Ferries/Norfolk Line), LAGAN SEAWAYS (DFDS)
(Norse Merchant Ferries/Norfolk Line), MERSEY SEAWAYS (DFDS)
Length overall186.46m
Gross Tonnage27,510
    MAN logo
  • 2 x MAN B&W 9L 48/60B – 10,800 kW each @ 500 rpm
  • CAT marine power logo

    3 x Caterpillar 3516B diesel generators 1825kW each, plus 2 shaft generators 2200kW
  • KaMeWa logo
    2 x KaMeWa 4.8m diameter CPP type propellers
  • 2 x KaMeWa/Rolls Royce TT2000 AUX CP 1300kW bow thrusters
  • Rolls Royce logo
    2 x Rolls Royce Fin stabilisers
Power(Max/Pme  @ 75%)21,600/16,200kW
Operational speed (Max/Normal)24/20-22 kts
Capacity (max)980
Capacity (current for Stena)720 passengers (in 492 berths)
Vehicle decksDecks 2,3 & 4 – 120 trailers (4.90 metres free height)


Deck 6 – 85 cars (2.50 metres free height)

2240 total lane metres

Access is via a stern door opening onto deck 3 with ramps between decks 3 and 4, and 3 and 6.  Lower hold ramps between deck 3 and 2.

Onboard Facilities in use


(Click here for the onboard gallery)

  • Stena Plus (chargeable extra)
  • Metropolitan Bar and Grill
  • Truckers restaurant
  • Barista coffee-house
  • Childrens play area
  • Pod lounge
  • Stena Shopping
  • Cinema
  • Teen Town (gaming machines)
  • Guest Services
  • Dog hotel and exercise area
  • Free WiFi
  • Family cabins
  • Disabled cabins
Flag (Stena)


Flag (DFDS/Norfolk Line/Norse Merchant Ferries)

United Kingdom (Belfast)


Italy (Bari)


Article Copyright © Steven Tarbox (NIFerrySite).  With thanks to Scott Mackey, Captain Stephen Millar (Senior Master, Stena Lagan), David Keery (OBSM, Stena Mersey), Gary Andrews, Ross McDonald, Gordon Hislip, “Das Boot 160 photography”, Christopher Brindle, and all of the other people who have contributed to or provided assistance for our articles and features on Stena Lagan and Stena Mersey since 2014.

Original article published: 26 Feb 2014
Last updated: 27th April 2018







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