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.
IMO Number: 9329849 / 9329851
Constructed by: Cantiere Navale di Visentini Francesco & C., Donada [IT] #212/#213
Also known as: LAGAN SEAWAYS, LAGAN VIKING (II) / MERSEY SEAWAYS, MERSEY VIKING (II)
February 26, 2014
Last updated: September 11, 2019
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.
STENA MERSEY and STENA LAGANbecame 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 (to-date) 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(rather functional) Studio Ancora interior design and IGI Allestimenti supplied furnishings have almost totally been replaced by Stena’s favoured architects Figura Arkitekter.
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.
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.
STENA MERSEY (where different)
Cantiere Navale di Visentini Francesco & C., Donada, Italy