Stena Nordica | Stena Line | Fishguard to Rosslare / Belfast to Cairnryan (cover)

By: Steven Tarbox
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STENA NORDICA swings off the berth at VT4 Belfast on her second day of service since returning to the Stena Line fleet following a rebuild in Poland. Image: © Steven Tarbox.
STENA NORDICA swings off the berth at VT4 Belfast on her second day of service since returning to the Stena Line fleet following a rebuild in Poland. Image: © Steven Tarbox.

STENA NORDICA is a Stena Line owned and operated Ro-Pax ferry which is normally allocated to the Rosslare – Fishguard route. She replaces the veteran ferry STENA EUROPE on the link from early July 2023. In the meantime, STENA NORDICA will provide refit/overhaul cover on the Irish Sea and North Sea.

Although originally built for P&O Irish Sea in 2000 as EUROPEAN AMBASSADOR, STENA NORDICA has spent the majority of her career under Stena ownership after passing to the company in 2004.

The new Taste restaurant onboard STENA NORDICA. Image: © Steven Tarbox.
The new Taste restaurant onboard STENA NORDICA. Image: © Steven Tarbox.

During 2023, STENA NORDICA was enlarged and comprehensively refurbished in Poland ahead of her allocation to the Fishguard route. She re-entered service on Sunday 9 April 2023 as a relief vessel on the Belfast – Cairnyran route. She replaced STENA SUPERFAST VII which went to overhaul/refit in Birkenhead. After relieving both Cairnryan vessels, STENA NORDICA relocated to cover Stena Line’s North Sea freight routes.

As part of STENA NORDICA’s rebuild additional passenger space was added and the existing spaces were reconfigured. This significantly increased the passenger space on the ferry and allowed her passenger capacity to be increased from its previous maximum of 447. The vessel was also extensively refurbished in a similar style to Stena Line’s newest E-Flexer ferries.

YouTube video
Promotional fly-through video of STENA NORDICA following her 2023 rebuild and refurbishment. ©️ Stena Line.

In her rebuilt configuration, STENA NORDICA can accommodate 699 passengers and crew and up to 110 freight vehicles or 320 cars (or a mix of both).


Originally called EUROPEAN AMBASSADOR, STENA NORDICA was the second of three Ro-Pax ferries ordered by P&O Irish Sea to renew its passenger fleet at the turn of the millennium.

STENA NORDICA’s part-sister-ships EUROPEAN CAUSEWAY and EUROPEAN HIGHLANDER still service the Cairnryan – Larne route that they were built for.

P&O Ferries EUROPEAN HIGHLANDER makes her way past Loch Ryan Port towards Cairnryan on her 04:00 sailing from Larne, 03.08.19. Copyright © Steven Tarbox.
P&O Ferries EUROPEAN HIGHLANDER. Copyright © Steven Tarbox.

An option to build a direct sister-ship to EUROPEAN AMBASSADOR was never exercised by P&O Irish Sea.


The current STENA NORDICA is the 7th Stena ferry to carry the name.

Further Information on Stena Nordica

For further information on STENA NORDICA:

More (including 2023 deck plan) coming soon

Current location of Stena Nordica

You can find the most recently known location of STENA NORDICA using this map which is provided by This feature is unavailable when this page is viewed in AMP mode.

Stena Nordica frequently asked questions

When and where was Stena Nordica built?

STENA NORDICA was completed in 2000 as EUROPEAN AMBASSADOR for P&O Irish Sea and built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Shimonoseki, Japan. She was rebuilt with additional passenger accommodation during early 2023 at Remontowa S.A., Gdansk, Poland.

What facilities does Stena Nordica have?

From spring 2023, STENA NORDICA‘s facilities include a “Taste” restaurant, “Social” bar and coffee house, Stena Plus premium lounge, “Hygge” recline lounge, a duty free shop, two cinemas, and a commercial drivers restaurant/lounge. Passengers can also choose from a range of cabin options. STENA NORDICA was enlarged and comprehensively refurbished ahead of her introduction on the Rosslare – Fishguard route in 2023 in place of the veteran multipurpose ferry STENA EUROPE.

What work was done to Stena Nordica during her 2023 refit?

On New Year’s Day 2023, STENA NORDICA arrived at Gdansk to be enlarged and refurbished. While there a new passenger module was added to deck 6 in an area previously inaccessible to the public. This houses a new Stena Plus lounge, two cinemas, and a Hygge reclining seat lounge and significantly increases the passenger space available.  
On deck 4 the old public spaces were stripped out and replaced. The restaurant has been enlarged to also occupy the space overlooking the bow of the ship which previously housed the bar. A new bar/coffee shop has been created in a space behind guest services which previously housed a reclining seat lounge. STENA NORDICA’s shop was also enlarged and the space opposite is now a living room lounge.

Does Stena Nordica have cabins?

There are 58 passenger cabins onboard STENA NORDICA. These include superior cabins, standard cabins, five pet friendly cabins, and accessible cabins.

Can I take my dog on Stena Nordica?

Pets including dogs can be taken onboard STENA NORDICA. Passengers can choose to book a pet friendly cabin or keep their pet in the onboard kennels or within their vehicles.

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