New Holyhead-Dublin Port route ferry Stena Superfast X was named in the Irish capital on Wednesday 11 March in a ceremony performed by Stena Line chairman Dan Sten Olsson, with Irish broadcasting personality KathrynThomas as the 30,285gt vessel’s Godmother.
The 1,200 passenger/1,924 lane metre Stena Superfast X had arrived at Holyhead the previous week following a comprehensive internal refit at Gdynia in Poland, which included the creation of a Stena Plus lounge, and she began sailings on 9 March, bringing increased capacity to the Central Corridor route shared with the South Korea-built Stena Adventurer (2003/43,532gt).
Both vessels make two return sailings in each 24-hour cycle, and the 2002-built Stena Superfast X will be out to match the success of sisters Stena Superfast VII and Stena Superfast VIII, which have been running between Belfast and Cairnryan since November 2011, the latter topping Stena fleet customer satisfaction ratings for the second successive year.
The introduction of Stena Superfast X looks to have been a factor in Stena’s decision not to operate high-speed sailings between Holyhead and Dun Laoghaire this year with HSS1500 catamaran Stena Explorer, which was withdrawn. Stena Nordica (2000/24,206gt), previously on the Dublin Port run, moved to Belfast on 9 March to relieve Stena Superfast VII during overhaul on the Cairnryan run before a charter to operate between Dover and Calais for DFDS.