Stena Line to double Ireland – France freight frequency and capacity

By: Steven Tarbox
Last updated:

Ferry company Stena Line has today announced that it will be adding a second ship to its Rosslare – Cherbourg route. The Ro-Ro freighter STENA FORETELLER will join the existing ship STENA HORIZON on the route.

Starting on the route January 4, STENA FORETELLER will offer 3,000 lane metres of freight capacity and facilities for up to 12 freight drivers. STENA FORETELLER is a sister-ship to STENA FORERUNNER and STENA FORECASTER, which previously served the Belfast – Liverpool route.

The move comes following an announcement by DFDS that it intends to start a new Rosslare – Dunkerque route. STENA FORETELLER is currently on her way to Falmouth having been on charter to NMT shipping for their Europe to Africa service from October.

Niclas Mårtensson, CEO Stena Line said: 

“We have been listening carefully to feedback from our customers and it has become clear that there is demand for increased frequency on the Rosslare-Cherbourg service, the shortest direct crossing between Ireland and France.”

“One of Stena Line’s key strengths is our ability to utilise our fleet and be flexible and responsive to market opportunities and changes.  On the Irish Sea, we are very well positioned to cover the requirements of the freight and logistics sector with a choice of six routes serving Britain and Europe via landbridge or our direct crossings to France.”  

Now with 12 weekly crossings connecting Rosslare and Cherbourg and up to 240 sailings per week throughout the Irish Sea region, we offer transport organisations  and their customers the flexibility, availability and reliability required to get their goods to market in the most convenient way.”

STENA HORIZON is the regular vessel on Stena Line's Rosslare - Cherbourg route. Stena Line
STENA HORIZON is the regular vessel on Stena Line’s Rosslare – Cherbourg route. Stena Line

Glenn Carr, General Manager, Rosslare Europort said 

“we warmly welcome Stena Line’s decision to double Rosslare to Cherbourg services from the beginning of 2021.  It reflects the strength of the partnership between Rosslare Europort and Stena Line in providing shipping solutions to Irish industry, and the commitment of Stena Line reinforces our ambitious commitments to continue the development of port facilities, infrastructure and technology under the Strategic Plan and Masterplan for the port.  Rosslare Europort is now firmly Ireland’s Gateway to Europe and a central strategic link connecting the country and the European continent.”

Stena Line had previously agreed with competitor Irish Ferries to sail between Ireland and France on alternate days in order to guarantee a daily service between the two countries. With Stena now offering six sailings a week in each direction on its own, it is not yet clear how that arrangement will be affected.

Stena Line’s announcement follows the EU setting out measures it would take in the event of a “no deal” outcome in trade talks between the UK and the EU.

A significant amount of trade between Ireland and Continental Europe currently moves via the UK “landbridge”. The application of checks and tariffs to these shipments could mean an increase in demand for direct routes between Ireland and Continental Europe. Just yesterday, Stena Line appealed to the EU to phase in border controls.

More direct capacity to Europe

The new Stena Line sailings add additional capacity to their Rosslare – Cherbourg service, a route also served weekly by Brittany Ferries in the summer. Irish Ferries sails between Dublin and Cherbourg, currently three times per week.

Additionally, CLdN offers unaccompanied-only services from Dublin and Cork to Zeebrugge and a similar service between Dublin and Rotterdam. Finally, Brittany Ferries has a year-round service between Rosslare and the Spanish port of Bilbao, and a seasonal Cork to Rosscoff route.

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