In our last update, we looked at the 2022 changes ahead for the Stena Line North Sea services.
However, the Stena Line Baltic and Scandinavian operation has an even more dramatic 2022 ahead.
There are new ports. new tonnage, and even a new route.
As always information is based on best known information at the time of writing and is subject to change.
Gdynia – Karlskrona
The STENA VINGA moves back to the Gdynia – Karlskrona operation in the New Year. The ship was replaced on the Rosslare – Cherbourg route by the SEATRUCK PANORAMA on 20 December. At the time of writing, the ship is at Frederikshavn.
STENA VINGA will be part of a four ship line-up from 2 January. This coincides with Stena Line moving to a new port at Gdynia. This will see her operate with the STENA VISION, STENA SPIRIT and STENA NORDICA.
Stena’s exact plans for the Poland – Sweden service over the next year aren’t clear yet.
The company has announced that the rebuilt Visentinis STENA SCANDICA (ex STENA LAGAN) and STENA BALTICA will be moved to the route. Currently allocated to Nynäshamn – Ventspils, these two vessels are due to be replaced by the as-yet unnamed two 240m-long Stena E-Flexer (Mk II) ferries. These are due to be delivered in Q2 and Q4 2022.
Stena Line has said on social media posts that Gdynia – Karlskrona will be serviced by three or four vessels. It seems most possible that this means that the STENA SPIRIT and/or STENA VISION will remain. As detailed later, STENA VINGA is due to return to her previous Gothenburg – Frederikshavn route.
More changes ahead?
There are many suggestions in the industry that the STENA NORDICA will be transferred to Fishguard – Rosslare to replace the STENA EUROPE. This is expected to occur late 2022 or early 2023 and potentially after re-building work to make her more suitable for a long-term role there.
In the interim, the STENA NORDICA is due to visit the Irish Sea from around 11 February until 8 April to provide refit cover.
NIFS would speculate that based on wider factors, it is possible that the STENA GOTHICA will be used on Karlskrona – Gdynia in place of the STENA NORDICA during her period on the Irish Sea.
Nynäshamn – Ventspils
As detailed above, the Latvia – Sweden route is due to receive brand new tonnage in the form of 240-metre E-Flexers in Q2 and Q4 2022.
Before then the route will receive a short-lived new ship in the form of the STENA BALTICA (ex STENA MERSEY). The ship had been at SEDEF, Turkey since February for rebuilding.
The STENA BALTICA departed Tuzla on 22 December and is due at Gdansk on 2 January 2022. Following final preparations at Remontowa and re-flagging to the Danish flag, the ship is expected to enter service. Subject to change, current information suggests that the STENA BALTICA will begin on the Ventspils route around 12/13 January.
Her arrival will allow the STENA FLAVIA to transfer to the Travemünde – Liepāja route.
Travemünde – Liepāja
Long-announced, STENA FLAVIA is finally due to join the Germany – Latvia service. The exact timing is unclear and will be based on when the STENA BALTICA enters service at Ventspils. However, current indications are that this will happen sometime around the middle of January.
STENA LIVIA is off service 22 December to 2 January for dry-docking. It seems likely that she will be repainted into Stena Livery. Currently, she still boasts elements of her LD Lines livery.
URD and STENA GOTHICA will offer a limited service over the Christmas and New Year period, before STENA LIVIA and URD maintain the route together during the first half of January The daily schedule offered since Summer 2021 is dropped with STENA GOTHICA providing refit cover on Trelleborg – Rostock.
The daily sailings will resume when STENA FLAVIA moves to partner the STENA LIVIA.
Nynäshamn – Hanko
This new route starts on 1 February 2022, with the URD operating a bi-daily service between Hanko and Nynäshamn, one of the Ports of Stockholm. A second vessel, the STENA GOTHICA, will join the route on 1 May 2022. Hanko – Nynäshamn will then be served with daily departures from both ports. A passenger service is expected at the same time.
It seems that the URD is released when STENA FLAVIA transfers to the Travemünde – Liepāja route.
With the use of the STENA GOTHICA unclear from published schedules, timing suggests (as above) that she will operate Gdynia – Karlskrona whilst STENA NORDICA is operating on the Irish Sea. Alternatively, she could cover other routes such as Kiel – Goteborg.
Trelleborg – Rostock
The dry-dock period looks like this.
MECKLENBURG VORPOMMERN finishes service just before Christmas on 23 December 2021.
Over the Christmas period, cover is provided by a TT-Line space charter, together with SKAANE.
STENA GOTHICA will operate on the route from 2 January 2022, covering for MECKLENBURG VORPOMMERN until 10 January. It is then SKAANE’s turn for dry-dock, she is back on 26 January. Once again, STENA GOTHICA will be the cover.
Gothenburg – Frederikshavn
There is no news yet of the overhaul period. However, it currently appears that STENA VINGA will return to her original Stena Line route on 11 April and remain indefinitely.
Presumably, this all ties in with the arrival of the first larger E-Flexer and cascade of enlarged Visentini tonnage to the Poland – Sweden route.
Halmstad – Grenaa
This route does not see any tonnage moves. But it seems that the STENA NAUTICA will have a seasonal overhaul. She finishes sailings on 24 December 2021 and resumes 6 January 2022.