STENA LAGAN and STENA MERSEY are two members of the prolific Visentini series of RoPax vessels. They were the lead vessels in the current "Flex Bow" 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. Flex Bow 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 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 link - 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premium lounge), the original (rather functional) Studio Ancora interior design and furnishings have almost totally been replaced by Stena's favoured architects Figura Arkitekter.
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.
Title image: STENA MERSEY. Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 22nd February 2017.
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.
|Name||STENA LAGAN||STENA MERSEY|
|Design||NAOS Ship and Boat Design S.R.L, Trieste, Italy|
|Cantiere Navale di Visentini Francesco & C., Donada, Italy|
Lloyds Register of shipping 100A1
roll-on-roll-off cargo/passenger ship
|Interior design (as built)||Studio Ancora, Ancona, Italy|
(no longer trading)
|Interior design (Stena Line)||Figura Arkitekter, Göteborg, Sweden|
|Previous owners||Epic Shipping, Hong Kong/UK (until 04/2012)|
Levantina Transporti, Italy (until 11/2008)
|Completed||July 2005||November 2005|
|In service (original)||July 2005||November 2005|
|In service (Stena Line)||December 2010||December 2010|
|Call sign (Stena)||2BGR6||2BPR6|
|Previous names and operators (oldest first)||LAGAN VIKING (ii)|
(Norse Merchant Ferries/Norfolk Line)LAGAN SEAWAYS (DFDS)
|MERSEY VIKING (ii)|
(Norse Merchant Ferries/Norfolk Line)MERSEY SEAWAYS (DFDS)
|Power(Max/Pme @ 75%)||21,600/16,200kW|
|Operational speed (Max/Normal)||24/20-22 kts|
|Capacity (current for Stena)||720 passengers (in 492 berths)|
|Vehicle decks||Decks 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)
Flag (DFDS/Norfolk Line/Norse Merchant Ferries)
|United Kingdom (Belfast)|
Stena Line time-lapse video of the Stena Lagan refit at Harland & Wolff in 2012
Article Copyright © Steven Tarbox (NIFerrySite). With thanks to Scott Mackey, Captain Stephen Millar (Senior Master, Stena Lagan), David Keery (Stena Mersey), Gary Andrews, Ross McDonald, Gordon Hislip, "Das Boot 160 photography", Chris 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