As of last weekend, four of Stena’s Irish Sea ships should have completed overhauls: Stena Performer, Stena Mersey, Stena Lagan and Stena Hibernia.
Stena Hibernia had been expected to resume service to Liverpool (Birkenhead) at 15:00hrs on Monday, but is still at Harland & Wolff. Stena Precision is currently en-route from Birkenhead to Belfast so may well swap places with Hibernia after discharging in Belfast as she is the next vessel scheduled to visit Harland & Wolff.
Stena Superfast VIII and then Stena Superfast VII are expected to visit Harland & Wolff in March with Stena Nordica providing cover on the North Channel service following being displaced on the Dublin – Holyhead route by Stena Superfast X.
Of 7 ships a total of 6 have been/will be handled by Harland & Wolff – Stena Lagan being the exception as she went to A&P Falmouth in December as the H&W where busy handling P&O’s Express. Good to see Stena giving our local yard plenty of business!
Rosslare-Fishguard veteran Stena Europe also is expected to be dry docked this year, with A&P Falmouth suggested as the most likely destination. Stena Adventurer is expected to be overhauled around April at this stage, possibly covered by her current running mate Stena Nordica.
Speaking of Stena Nordica, she has not received any major work to her hull in a while and so it may be that once she is finished covering the rest of the Irish Sea fleet she will proceed to dry-dock herself. Her destination once finished covering the rest of the Irish Sea fleet is still unknown, with a few different rumours still persisting.
The fate of the final HSS 1500 vessel in Stena Line service, Stena Explorer (coincidentally the first to be launched), should become clearer over the next month. She needs to be dry docked by the end of February in order to remain in service – Harland & Wolff are the only yard able to do this work due to the specialist nature of the craft.
Needless to say, its going to be a very expensive year for Stena’s engineering department. The conversion of Dieppe Seaways to Stena Superfast X is well underway at the Nauta shipyard in Gdynia, Poland. At present she is expected in service between Dublin and Holyhead around the middle of February.
Image: Stena Mersey in dry dock at Harland & Wolff, Belfast, November 2014. Copyright © Scott Mackey, used with permission.