Stena in Belfast – Celebrating 20 years of Stena Line operating from Belfast.

Stena Superfast VII and Stena Superfast VIII passing in Belfast Lough. Copyright © Alan Geddes.

20th anniversary of Stena Line switching the historic Larne – Stranraer service to Belfast. Today marks 20 years from the last sailing of what was then Stena Sealink Line, into the Port of Larne from Scotland, with tomorrow the anniversary of the first Stena ferry sailing from Belfast. Few could have predicted at the time that 20 years, and 2 bespoke Belfast-Scotland terminals later, Stena Line would also offer services from Belfast to Birkenhead and Heysham, as well as operating a pair of 203 metre long ferries to Scotland from Belfast.  Just six weeks after the switch, on the 31st December 1995, the “Sealink” name would disappear altogether with all UK operations being rebranded as “Stena Line”. Of course, things have also changed dramatically at Larne. No longer Northern Ireland’s premier ferry port, Stena’s rise at Belfast has been somewhat mirrored by P&O’s decline at Larne. The services to Fleetwood and … Read more

Former Belfast-Liverpool ferry prepares for a life in New Zealand

Former Irish Sea ro-pax Stena Feronia (ex Dublin Seaways, Dublin Viking, Mersey Viking) has been renamed STRAIT FERONIA and adopted the New Zealand flag. She is currently in dry dock at Landskrona being prepared for a new life in the Southern Hemisphere operating for New Zealand company Strait Shipping under their Blue Bridge brand. STRAIT FERONIA was of course built for the Belfast – Liverpool service as one of the two lead vessels of the Visentini ro-pax series, and was sold by owners Stena Line last in January to Strait Shipping. She is expected to enter service in July this year on the Cook Strait service, replacing current ship Santa Regina. In a twist of fate, the former Stena Feronia will be competing directly with former Irish Sea fleet mate Stena Alegra, which operated the Dublin to Liverpool service as Dawn Merchant for Merchant Ferries and Norse Merchant Ferries. She has been … Read more