PR: NI Ferry Enthusiasts visit Stena Superfast VII at Harland & Wolff.

Pictured with Stena Superfast VII in dry dock at Harland and Wolff are Capt Alistair McCarlie (Senior Master), enthusiasts and photographers Steven Tarbox, Marty McVicker and Ross McDonald. Copyright © Scott Mackey.

Stena Line were delighted to welcome 5 members of the NI Ferry Enthusiasts to Dry Dock today Monday 20th March at Harland and Wolff. Diane Poole OBE Head of PR and Communications said “Stena Line welcomed this group to have a behind the scenes look at Superfast VII in Dry Dock and were welcomed onboard by Senior Master Alistair McCarlie who had great pleasure in showing them some of the work that goes on during Dry Dock. The group had freedom to ask questions , take pictures and share them on their relevant channels.” “It was great to be able to visit Harland and Wolff to get a better sense of what goes on when a vessel such as Stena Superfast VII is dry docked, and fantastic to be able to ask questions and get answers from someone as knowledgeable as Senior Master A McCarlie. I would like to say … Read more

P&O Larne-Cairnryan refit/dry-dock dates 2017.

EUROPEAN HIGHLANDER leaves Larne in the freshly applied new P&O livery, May 2015. Copyright © Gary Andrews.

P&O’s Larne to Cairnryan vessels European Causeway and European Highlander are expected to go for dry docking between the 28th April and 2nd June this year.  European Highlander will be first, heading for Cammell-Laird Birkenhead on 28th of April.  She will return on the 15th of May, allowing European Causeway to take her turn at Cammell-Laird. Throughout the dry-docking period P&O’s Dover based “Super Freighter” European Seaway will provide cover, becoming the largest ferry to ever operate a scheduled service from Larne in the process.  This will be the first time European Seaway has visited Northern Ireland, with dry-docking periods in recent years normally covered by Dublin-Liverpool’s Norbay.  Due to her length (around 10m longer than the limit stated on the Port of Larne website) NIFS expect that she will use the MacKean Quay berth in Larne, which is the longest berth available at the port.  MacKean Quay also has the twin-tier linkspan European Seaway will need to be able to … Read more

Stena Horizon return to service delayed.

Stena Horizon‘s refit period at Belfast’s Harland and Wolff Heavy Industries appears to have been extended by at least 2 days.  Originally the 186m long vessel (which is a near sister of Stena Lagan and Stena Mersey) had been expected to leave Belfast on Wednesday morning. However, according to the current scheduled departure showing on Belfast Harbour’s website she is now due to leave on Friday morning instead. Stena Horizon of course is due to release Stena Superfast X from the Dublin to Holyhead route so she can come north to in turn release Stena Superfast VIII and Stena Superfast VII from the Belfast to Cairnryan service for their own refits at H&W.  As a result of the delay in completing Stena Horizon‘s refit, NIFS expect that the refit of Stena Superfast VIII may also be slightly delayed. Title image:  Stena Horizon in dry-dock at Belfast, January 2016. Copyright © Scott … Read more

The ‘other’ Stena Superfast: Stena Superfast X, coming soon to Belfast (for a while).

Stena Superfast X. Copyright © Scott Mackey.

Stena Superfast X to operate to Cairnryan next month. Next month will see the maiden arrival in Belfast of the latest permanent addition to the Stena Line Irish Sea fleet, Stena Superfast X.  Stena Superfast X was of course built as a sister ship to our own Stena Superfast VII and VIII, although she has had a very different career.  Normally Stena Superfast X would operate between Dublin and Holyhead, however she will operate from Belfast for around 2 weeks whilst covering the dry-docking periods of Stena Superfast VII and VIII at Harland and Wolff.  The Belfast yard has of course secured a £4m contact to refit the bulk of Stena Line’s Irish Sea fleet this year. Stena Superfast X will offer a different passenger experience to the regular vessels however, as she has been laid out differently internally, reflecting the different nature of her regular crossing.  Of particular note is the retention … Read more

PR: Harland and Wolff Secures £4m Stena Line Contract

Stena Line has continued its tradition of supporting the local maritime industry by placing a £4.4m contract with Harland and Wolff for the refit of its Irish Sea ferry fleet. Over the next two months, seven Stena Line vessels will visit the shipyard on a carefully sequenced timetable to facilitate a range of specialist works including annual inspections, passenger facility upgrade work as well as ongoing technical enhancements. Stena Line recently celebrated 20 years of its operations in Belfast.  In 2015, Stena Line transported 1.4 million passengers, 318 000 cars and almost  500 000 freight units on its Belfast services to Cairnryan, Liverpool and Heysham, employing 900 staff. Paul Grant, Stena Line’s Route Manager said: ”Our refits are very important to ensure the smooth and safe running of our expanding fleet of ships.  The decision to place the majority of our refit contract work with Harland and Wolff allows us … Read more