Update 02.08.20: STENA SCOTIA entered Belfast Building Dock this morning. The first of STENA NORDICA‘s temporary additional sailings on the Belfast – Birkenhead route is expected to leave Belfast at around 15:30 tomorrow (Monday). She is timetabled to arrive just before midnight, leaving for Belfast at 03:30 on Tuesday morning.
Stena Scotia to occupy Belfast Building Dock
Stena Line’s STENA NORDICA returned to Belfast on Thursday ahead of her first ever stint on the Belfast – Liverpool (Birkenhead) service. The former P&O ship will operate a temporary “shoulder service” on the route in place of STENA SCOTIA on the Belfast – Heysham route.
The extra temporary sailings between Belfast and Birkenhead are expected to last throughout the dry docking of STENA SCOTIA which is expected to take around two weeks. It is believed that Stena has diverted Heysham traffic via the alternative Birkenhead route as STENA NORDICA is too large to fit the confines of Heysham harbour and no other suitable relief vessel was available. The ship made a test crossing to Birkenhead yesterday, leaving VT1 at around 14:00 and arriving back in Belfast at lunchtime today.
STENA SUPERFAST VII and STENA SUPERFAST VIII are also expected to dry dock at Harland & Wolff before the end of September, though the dry docking of STENA HIBERNIA has been postponed.
Ahead of her arrival back in Belfast, STENA NORDICA returned to Birkenhead’s 12 Quays ferry terminal. Regular contributor Rob Foy has sent in these pictures;