In a change to its previously announced plans, Stena Line has announced that its next two E-Flexer ferries will be deployed on the Karlskrona – Gdynia route. The company had previously intended to introduce the E-Flexer Mk.II ships, which are 25m longer than the six vessels of the class already delivered, on its Nynäshamn – Ventspils route.
Under the new plans, Nynäshamn – Ventspils will retain its existing duo of STENA SCANDICA (ex STENA LAGAN) and STENA BALTICA (ex STENA MERSEY). The pair were lengthened and modernised in Turkey before being introduced on the route over the past year.
The enlarged former Belfast – Birkenhead twins have already increased freight capacity by 30% and cabin capacity by 70% versus the ships they replaced. Stena’s previous intention had been for the new E-Flexers to release STENA SCANDICA and STENA BALTICA for the Karlskrona – Gdynia route. Strong freight growth on the southern Baltic Sea Gdynia route has seen that decision reversed.
Stena Line’s as-yet unnamed Mk.II E-Flexers will have capacity for 1,200 passengers and 3.587 lane metres of freight. They will also have an additional garage for around 200 small cars or vans. The 239.7m long vessels are scheduled to be delivered in China later this year. The series is designed to be efficient and flexible, both in terms of configuration and the routes on which they can be deployed.
On the changed deployment plan, Niclas Mårtensson, CEO Stena Line said:
“Flexibility and growing with our customers is key for Stena Line, and with the E-Flexers that we are now deploying on the route Karlskrona-Gdynia we are striving to offer a fleet that is as flexible as possible, responding to the needs of our customers,” says Niclas Mårtensson, CEO Stena Line.
The first of the new ferries is expected to be introduced on the Karlskrona- Gdynia service during July with the second following in November. They will be the seventh and eighth vessels in Stena’s E-Flexer class to be delivered. To date twelve examples of the E-Flexer have been ordered for Stena Line, Brittany Ferries, DFDS, and Marine Atlantic.