Following technical difficulties with STENA HIBERNIA which have seen her miss most of this week, Stena Line appear to have taken Seatruck’s CLIPPER RANGER on a short term charter as cover. According to Stena’s live freight timetable she is on the Belfast – Heysham route form the 21:00 ex Heysham this coming Monday until the 21:00 ex Belfast on Sunday 18th November.
CLIPPER RANGER is of course available for sale or charter now that she has been displaced from the Dublin to Liverpool route following a Seatruck fleet shuffle as a result of the return of SEATRUCK PRECISION and SEATRUCK PERFORMANCE from charter to Stena Line. Documents seen by NI Ferry Site show that a sale or long term charter to Transport Scotland was on the cards to provide backup capacity for both Caledonian MacBrayne and Northlink Ferries, however this was turned down by Scottish Government ministers.
Its still not clear what the future holds for CLIPPER RANGER, but for the next week at least she will return to her former Belfast – Heysham route, but for Stena Line rather than Seatruck Ferries whom she operated the route for previously.
CLIPPER RANGER is also a rare ferry that has operated from Belfast, Warrenpoint, Larne, and Dublin. It is likely her long term future will be away from the Irish Sea however.