Stena Line’s Ro-Ro freighter STENA SCOTIA left Belfast Building Dock on Saturday, having been off service for over a month. The Belfast – Heysham ship entered the Harland & Wolff facility back on August 3rd. STENA NORDICA was designated as the relief vessel but due to her length sailed to Birkenhead rather than Heysham. Although the dry docking was originally expected to last only two weeks, STENA NORDICA has continued to provide cover throughout ‘Scotia’s’ absence until earlier this week.
Heysham Back to Two Ship Operation
From last Wednesday (02/09), SEATRUCK PANORAMA joined STENA HIBERNIA on the Heysham route returning it to its normal two-ship operation. With the expected return to service of STENA SCOTIA tomorrow, SEATRUCK PANORAMA will switch to the Belfast – Liverpool (Birkenhead) service. This will return that route to up to three departures in each direction for freight daily, as before the COVID-19 crisis, for the foreseeable future. With ‘Panorama’ on the Birkenhead route, STENA NORDICA will move to Holyhead where it is expected she will release STENA ESTRID later this week.
New Ship on Cairnryan Link
Once released, STENA ESTRID is expected to make her way to Belfast where she will provide cover on the Belfast – Cairnryan route. Both vessels on the route, STENA SUPERFAST VIII and STENA SUPERFAST VII are expected to dry dock at Harland & Wolff. With each ship expected to be off-service for at least two weeks, STENA ESTRID is likely to be away from her usual Dublin – Holyhead route well into October.
Oceanex Connaigra Delay
As previously reported, STENA SCOTIA had been expected to leave dry dock last Thursday morning. This was subsequently pushed back until yesterday which in-turn delayed OCEANEX CONNAIGRA entering Belfast Building Dock. At present the Canada-based Con-Ro ferry is scheduled to enter the building dock tomorrow morning. She had been scheduled to enter the Building Dock this morning, but despite the tugs and a pilot being already in position, this was later postponed.