Stena Line commits to a further 20 years at Ventspils

By: Steven Tarbox
STENA FLAVIA at Ventspils. Image: Noord Natie Ventspils Terminals (NNVT)
STENA FLAVIA at Ventspils. Image: Noord Natie Ventspils Terminals (NNVT)

Ferry operator Stena Line has confirmed that it has signed an agreement with Noord Natie Ventspils Terminals (NNVT) to continue operating ferry services from Ventspils Freeport. The agreement comes ahead of the expected introduction of the rebuilt STENA LAGAN (to be renamed STENA SCANDICA) on the Ventspils – Nynäshamn route this spring.

Since taking over the route in 2012, Stena Line has introduced a second ship to the route and more than doubled frequency. At present the route is served by the Visentini-built Ro-Pax duo of SCOTTISH VIKING and STENA FLAVIA. Last year, the Swedish terminal moved to a purpose-built facility at Stockhom Norvik, near Nynäshamn.

SCOTTISH VIKING. Image: Gary Andrews.
SCOTTISH VIKING. Image: Gary Andrews.

With demand on the route continuing to grow, the company announced earlier this year that the rebuilt STENA LAGAN and STENA MERSEY (to be renamed STENA BALTICA) will replace the current vessels later this year. Their deployment will increase capacity on the route by 30%. Lagan and Mersey are also Visentini-built and of similar design to the ships they will replace, but are being extended by 36m in Turkey.

As part of her “groundbreaking” 36m lengthening, STENA LAGAN was split in two. Image: Stena Line.

According to Johan Edelman, Trade Director Stena Line Baltic Sea North:

“Ventpils offers a great geographical location, connecting Scandinavia with the Baltics, Russia and the CIS countries. This long term agreement is an important step in our continuous expansion in the Baltic Sea and enables us to continue to grow together with our customers and partners. It really shows Stena Lines commitment to our Latvian routes”

(Translated via Google Translate from–stena-line-signerar-20-arsavtal-i-ventspils,c3277282)

Aivars Gobinš Member of the Board, Noord Natie Ventspils Terminals, said:

The terminal with its long-term experience has proven itself as a reliable partner in the field of ro-ro cargo handling. Now our cooperation with the ferry operator Stena Line has reached a new milestone. Improvements to the terminal’s infrastructure and larger vessels will make it possible to attract new volumes of cargo and passengers in upcoming future”, says Aivars Gobiņš Member of the Board, Noord Natie Ventspils Terminals.

SCOTTISH VIKING is due to leave the Stena Line operation. Owner Visemar di Navigazione has already agreed a long-term charter for the ship. Renamed GNV SEALAND, she will join GNV, initially relieving other vessels for scrubber installation.

STENA FLAVIA is expected to be redeployed within the Stena Line fleet, likely on the Travemunde – Liepaja route currently served by the elderly sister-ships STENA GOTHICA and URD. A second Visentini Ro-Pax is due to join this route.

STENA FLAVIA at Stockholm Norvik Port. © Stockholms Hamnar
STENA FLAVIA at Stockholm Norvik Port. © Stockholms Hamnar

Whilst no announcement has been made, ETRETAT is thought to be a potential candidate as she is due to be handed back by Brittany Ferries to Stena RoRo after she finishes Portsmouth – Le Havre in late March

STENA LAGAN was replaced by STENA EDDA last year. Once the latter ship completes her current dry-docking at Harland & Wolff, STENA EMBLA will replace STENA MERSEY. This will allow Mersey to go to Turkey to undergo lengthening and rebuilding ahead of her renaming to STENA BALTICA.

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