Stena Vision, Stena Line’s Ireland to France cruiseferry

By: NI Ferry Team
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STENA VISION at Rosslare. Image: Luke Wilson.
STENA VISION at Rosslare. Image: Luke Wilson.

Entering service at the end of June 2023, Stena Line’s STENA VISION has brought cruiseferry standards to the company’s Ireland to France link between Rosslare and Cherbourg.

The vessel has enjoyed an impressive start to the latest part of her long Stena career.

The Swedish ferry company had a 90% increase in the number of passengers and cars using the Cherbourg route in 2023, compared to summer 2022. Stena attributed this increase to both the introduction of STENA VISION and the growing popularity of France as a destination of choice for the Irish market.

Meanwhile, the reliability of STENA VISION on the Rosslare to Cherbourg route to date, has allowed Stena Line to leave the route in her charge whilst the other vessel on the route, STENA HORIZON covers other Stena Line routes during the early part of 2024.

In our feature, we will take a look at what is on offer aboard STENA VISION

Third career with Stena Line

STENA VISION was ordered in 1979 and launched in 1981 by the Stocnia i Komuni Paryski yard at Gdynia, Poland. Due to political turmoil in Poland, her delivery was delayed several times.  In the event she was not introduced to the Gothenburg to Kiel route until 1987, as STENA GERMANICA, also serving the Gothenburg to Frederikshavn route in summer.

Publicity image of STENA GERMANICA (ii) in her original Stena Line colours.  Image: Stena Line.
Publicity image of STENA GERMANICA (ii) in her original Stena Line colours. Image: Stena Line.

STENA GERMANICA remained on the Kiel route with her sister, STENA SCANDINAVICA (now STENA SPIRIT) until 2010.  Following a fleet cascade when the STENA BRITTANICA and STENA HOLLANDICA were delivered for the Harwich to Hoek van Holland route, they moved to the Karlskrona to Gdynia route.  At the same time the vessel was renamed STENA VISION.

Prior to the move, in 1999 both ships were rebuilt to increase freight capacity from 1628 lane metres to their current capacity of 2214 lane metres, to achieve this 80 cabins were removed.  Access doors were also provided to the new upper vehicle deck, allowing for twin level loading, and discharging at both ports.

Upon the introduction of Stena Line’s 240 metre long, larger version E-Flexer vessels, STENA ESTELLE in 2022 and then STENA EBBA in early 2023, STENA VISION would become surplus to requirements, while STENA SPIRIT was to remain on the route as the third vessel.

STENA ESTELLE at Gdynia Image: © Shipadvisor (Instagram).
STENA ESTELLE at Gdynia Image: © Shipadvisor (Instagram).

In November 2022, Stena Line announced that STENA VISION would become the second vessel on the Rosslare to Cherbourg route, alongside STENA HORIZON.

The move marked a significant change for the route, marking a move from a pure RoPax operation to provide the option of a much improved cruiseferry type customer experience.

STENA VISION was sent to the Remontowa shipyard in Gdansk for upgrading works which lasted about 3 months. Work included the installation of a new internal vehicle ramp linking her lower (Deck 3) and upper (Deck 5) vehicle decks. This was required as she operates from single level shore berths at both Rosslare and Cherbourg. Her bow doors were also sealed up, meaning that she berths stern-in and loads and discharges over her stern ramps at both ports.

Under the command of her Senior Master, well-known local Rosslare man, Sean Boyce, the vessel made her first commercial, freight-only, sailing on 24 June 2023. Her first passenger sailing was six days later.

STENA VISION sets course for Rosslare following a refit in Poland. Image: Stena Line.
STENA VISION sets course for Rosslare following a refit in Poland. Image: Stena Line.

The vessel provides accommodation for up to 1,300 passengers and 120 freight units, 440 cars or a combination of both. She boasts 485 passenger cabins, ranging from standard, accessible, deluxe, superior and 42 pet-friendly cabins. Facilities include a choice of eating and drinking venues, including a deck bar, a Pure Nordic spa, including a sauna and jacuzzi, and a shopping area.

Ireland to France cruiseferry deck by deck

Deck plan of Ireland to France ferry STENA VISION after her 2010 rebuilding. Image: Stena Line.
Deck plan of Ireland to France cruiseferry STENA VISION after her 2010 rebuilding. Image: Stena Line.

Vehicle Decks

STENA VISION’s two main vehicle decks are on Decks 3 and 5 with mezzanine decks available on Decks 4 and 6. Decks 3 and 5 are linked by an internal ramp. On the Rosslare to Cherbourg route, the vessel is loaded through the stern door on Deck 3 with no use made of the other access points.

Deck 7

Deck 7 of STENA VISION contains cabins forward and aft. In the central section of the ship is a reception area, including the Guest Services Centre.

Deck 8

Deck 8 of STENA VISION has cabins forward and aft.

Close to midships is a gaming area.

The main feature on Deck 8 of STENA VISION is a large shop. Not being a Duty Free route, part of the shop is currently closed off due to the more limited product selection on offer. There is also some seating outside the shop.

Deck 9

Deck 9 of STENA VISION contains the main passenger facilities of the vessel.

Over the bow is the ‘Teen Town’ games area to port and Pure Nordic Spa to starboard. Centrally there is a café area with the servery branded as part of the Pure Nordica Spa.  This is also the place for the “Happy Land” children’s play area.

Moving aft on Deck 9 is a hallway and to starboard, the Trucker’s lounge and restaurant.

The central area of Deck 9 contains the Taste Self-Service Restaurant and Metropolitan Bar/Barista Coffee Shop.

Moving towards the stern, to port is the Riva Bar with the actual bar shaped like a boat.

In peak periods, STENA VISION boasts a classic cruiseferry buffet, also named Taste. This is located right at the stern of Deck 9.

Deck 10

This is primarily a deck of crew accommodation. However, aft is the C-View Bar/Nightclub.


STENA VISION has a large range of cabins. There are 2 and 4-berth Inside and Outside cabins, Pet-Friendly cabins, Disabled cabins, Superior cabins, De Luxe cabins and Suites. The premium cabins are located on Deck 11 with the cabin area accessed via a door requiring the appropriate cabin card. In the corridor is a drinks machine and fridge. Premium cabins have TV, tea and coffee making facilities and are stocked with snacks.

Outside deck areas

STENA VISION has very generous outside deck areas on Decks 9 to 12. In particular, Deck 11 has an attractive outside deck bar area and Deck 12 has an extensive sundeck on the top of the ship.


Being such a large cruiseferry Stena Line’s Ireland to France vessel, STENA VISION, has a lot of stairwells.

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