Two Baltic Sea Routes to Get Big Capacity Upgrade in 2022
Stena Line has confirmed previous reports that it’s two as-yet unnamed 240m-long Stena E-Flexer (Mk II) ferries will be deployed to the Nynäshamn – Ventspils route. The move will release the former Belfast – Birkenhead ships STENA SCANDICA and STENA BALTICA for the Karlskrona – Gdynia route. That route is currently served by STENA SPIRIT, STENA VISION, and STENA NORDICA.
The deployment of the two new Mk II E-Flexers to the Baltic Sea route is the latest step in Stena’s investment in the region. It is also the second major tonnage announcement for the Ventspils service in a year. STENA BALTICA (ex STENA MERSEY) has yet to serve the route as she is still undergoing lengthening and rebuilding in Turkey, while STENA SCANDICA was only introduced at the end of July Once in service, the new E-Flexers will increase freight capacity by a further 25% and passenger capacity by 33%. This is on top of the previously announced 30% increase in freight capacity.
The exact timing of the arrival into service of the E-Flexer MkII’s has been said to be Summer and Late Autumn 2022.
Niclas Mårtensson, CEO Stena Line Group said:
“We continue growing together with our customers by strengthen our position and fleet across the Baltic Sea. Demand for capacity in the region keeps increasing as freight customers continue to expand and travel passengers choose ferry travel as their preferred safe form of transport in the wake of the pandemic. These large, modern, and fuel-efficient next generation ferries are the flag ships in the modernisation of our fleet as well as our development of sustainable shipping”.https://news.cision.com/stena-line/r/two-new-e-flexer-ferries-to-join-stena-line-s-baltic-sea-fleet-next-year,c3420862
Fredrik Lindstål, Chair of the Board of Ports of Stockholm said:
“We warmly welcome Stena Scandica to Stockholm Norvik Port. We are very happy about our long-term multi-year collaboration and that Stena Line has chosen to expand in a major way and invest in the Baltic Sea and our new port,”https://www.portsofstockholm.com/about-us/news/2021/stena-line-expands-with-new-and-larger-vessels-calling-at-stockholm-norvik-port/
Freight Capacity Increase for Karlskorna – Gdynia
Stena has not yet said if any vessels on the Karlskrona – Gdynia route will be replaced. It seems likely, however, that at least one of STENA SPIRIT or STENA VISION will leave the route. A post to Stena’s Polish Facebook page indicates that three to four ships will be in use.
There have also been suggestions that STENA NORDICA may leave for elsewhere in the Stena Line network next year. Fishguard – Rosslare would seem a strong candidate for her if this is the case. Whatever they replace, the arrival of STENA SCANDICA and STENA BALTICA will significantly increase freight capacity on the Karlskrona – Gdynia route.
The Mk II E-Flexers are built to a stretched version of the design used for STENA ESTRID, STENA EDDA, and STENA EMBLA. Those three vessels were all deployed to Irish Sea routes as part of a major investment programme by Stena Line in the region. The larger E-Flexer MkII ferries have capacity for 3,600 lane metres of freight and 1,200 passengers. They are expected to be in service ahead of the introduction of STENA SCANDICA and STENA BALTICA on the Gdynia route in summer and late-autumn 2022.
Stena E-Flexer Mk I vs Mk II Comparison
|Class||Stena E-Flexer Mk I|
(standard – 215m)
|Stena E-Flexer Mk II|
(lengthened – 240m)
|Design||Stena AB / Deltamarin||Stena AB / Deltamarin|
|Construction Yard||CMJL Weihai, Shandong Province, China||CMJL Weihai, Shandong Province, China|
|Vessel Operators||Stena Line (3), Brittany Ferries (3), DFDS (1)||Stena Line (2)|
|Delivery||Late 2019 – 2023||2022|
|Gross Tonnage||Approx 40,500||Approx 45,000|
|Total number of decks||10||10|
|Number of passenger decks||3||3|
|Approx. Passenger Capacity (including crew)||1,000||1,200|
|Freight Capacity||3100 lane metres*||3600 lane metres|
|Capacity of dedicated passenger vehicle and small van deck|
(not included on the Brittany Ferries examples)