Ferry company Stena Line has announced that they will open a new service from Nynäshamn in Sweden to Hanko in Finland in early 2022.
The new route starts on 1 February 2022, with the URD operating a bi-daily service between Hanko and Nynäshamn, one of the Ports of Stockholm. A second vessel, the STENA GOTHICA, will join the route on 1 May 2022. Hanko – Nynäshamn will then be served with daily departures from both ports.
Stena promote that with a crossing time of 12 hours, full day turnarounds will ensure smooth loading and unloading. The Stena Line freight page for the route is already live. However, at the time of writing, whilst the timetable appears to be incomplete, it shows 1830 departure times.
It is reported in the Finnish press that the passenger service will launch in May, presumably to coincide with the daily service starting.
Niclas Mårtensson, CEO Stena Line, comments;
”With our new daily route between Hanko and Nynäshamn, we heavily expand and strengthen our position in the Baltic Sea. Growing with our customers, we are investing in the new service to accommodate the increasing demand of our freight customers for seamless transports in the Baltic Sea and beyond. By extending our network to Finland, we further improve and expand the most comprehensive, efficient, and integrated ferry network in northern Europe.”https://www.stenaline.com/media/stories/stena-line-to-open-new-daily-route-to-finland
Very welcome port development
The Port of Hanko welcomes the new service, having lost the DFDS passenger service to Paldiski in October 2020. Anders Ahlvik, Managing Director at Port of Hanko said;
“It is a real pleasure to welcome Stena Line in Hanko. As a leading port for efficient transport routes and at a central location in southern Finland, we share Stena Line´s goal of building sustainable transport chains in the Baltic. Hanko is a key hub for trade and industrial products, the automotive industry and export of forest industry products. The new route extends our connections to key target markets in Sweden”https://www.stenaline.com/media/stories/stena-line-to-open-new-daily-route-to-finland
Stena Line’s Nynäshamn operation relocated to the Norvik Port on 9 November 2020. The port has two roro berths, ideally suiting Stena’s new two route operation.
Johan Wallén, Marketing and Sales Manager at Ports of Stockholm celebrated the news of Stena’s expansion at Nynäshamn;
“The commitment of Stena Line in introducing yet another route from Stockholm Norvik Port emphasises how important the newly built port is for the sustainable supply of goods to Sweden’s largest consumer area. The port has been open for less than two years and we are already growing with the introduction of a new route. This has exceeded our expectations and shows that it was the right decision to invest in building Stockholm Norvik,”https://www.portsofstockholm.com/about-us/news/2021/stena-line-expands-and-launches-new-route-between-stockholm-norvik-and-hanko/
Major Investment Programme
The availability of the 1,600 lane metre URD and STENA GOTHICA is a result of a major Stena Line fleet investment in the region.
The two ships are currently operating alongside the STENA LIVIA on the Travemünde to Liepāja route. When the STENA FLAVIA is released from the Nynäshamn – Ventspils crossing by the lengthened STENA BALTICA (ex STENA MERSEY), she will join her fellow Visentini vessel on the Liepāja route. This will allow a daily service to be offered without the assistance of the URD and STENA GOTHICA, releasing these vessels for the new Sweden – Finland route.
Meanwhile, STENA BALTICA could be seen on Marinetraffic starting post-rebuilding sea trails today, 7 December. The ship is expected to depart the shipyard in Turkey by 19 December. Following some further works at Remontowa, Gdansk, she will enter service on the Nynäshamn – Ventspils route around the start of February.
Also in 2022, Nynäshamn – Ventspils will receive two newly built longer E-Flexers, allowing the STENA SCANDICA and STENA BALTICA to switch to the Karlskrona – Gdynia route.
A nod to the past with a new opportunity
Operating the 1981-URD and 1982-STENA GOTHICA, Stena is launching this new service in a very low risk way. However, there are potentially great rewards at a time when cruiseferry operators such as Viking Line and Tallink Silja Line are under considerable pressure due to the effects of Covid-19.
It isn’t the first time that Stena Line has operated in the Sweden – Finland sector. From 1965 to 1974, Stena used vessels such as the POSEIDON and STENA GERMANICA on a seasonal Stockholm – Mariehamn service. A Stockholm – Turku route was also tried in 1965 and in the mid-2010s, a short-lived slot charter when the STENA FORETELLER was chartered to Mann Lines, providing a roro link Finland – Continent – UK.