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Stena Line Introducing New Temporary Belfast to Holyhead Route [Updated]

Stena Line is to introduce a new route linking Belfast with Holyhead. The temporary move comes in response to heavy tourist demand on the company’s existing routes from Liverpool and Cairnryan to Belfast and will operate until July 18. There is still low demand for tourist traffic on the Holyhead – Dublin route due to ongoing travel restrictions between Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland.

STENA ESTRID will operate the route which will be a weekend only service. The crossing time will be approximately eight hours with fares for a car and driver starting at £130 single.

Sister-ships STENA ESTRID and STENA EDDA meet in Belfast. Copyright © Steven Tarbox.
Sister-ships STENA ESTRID and STENA EDDA meet in Belfast. Copyright © Steven Tarbox.

Weekends Only

Two sailings in each direction will be offered per week. These will depart Holyhead at 23:30hrs (Friday and Saturday nights) and return from Belfast at 09:30hrs (Saturday and Sunday mornings). As a consequence, the Holyhead – Dublin route will reduce to a single ship service again at weekends.

The large atrium dominates the Sky Bar which is located on Deck 8, midships. © NIferry.co.uk.
The Sky Bar, STENA ESTRID. © NIferry.co.uk.

The return of STENA ESTRID to Belfast means that all three of Stena Line’s E-Flexer ferries will serve the port again. Sister-ships STENA EDDA and STENA EMBLA are the mainstays of the Belfast – Liverpool (Birkenhead) route.

Update @ 11:15:

Paul Grant, Stena Line Trade Director (Irish Sea) said:

“We are delighted to be able to announce details of our new temporary service between Holyhead and Belfast.  The much-anticipated summer rebound for travel is beginning and we are hugely encouraged by current booking trends.  The current travel restrictions between Britain and Ireland have created a lot of pent-up travel demand so hopefully the addition of this new route will help provide another option for people visiting friends, relatives or taking a break as well as being an attractive option for our freight customers.”


The Belfast – Holyhead route will use Stena’s Belfast – Cairnryan terminal at Victoria Terminal 4 (VT4). Sailing times are 6.5 hours from Belfast – Holyhead and 8 hours 15 mins for the overnight Holyhead – Belfast sailings.

Bookings for the new service can be made at https://www.stenaline.co.uk/routes/belfast-holyhead. The first sailing is scheduled from Holyhead to Belfast on Friday June 25.

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