With the expectation that travel restrictions between Ireland and Britain will be removed soon, ferry company Stena Line is bringing its new vessel Stena Estrid back to its key Holyhead-Dublin route.

She will replace Stena Horizon which will return to its former role serving Rosslare-Cherbourg.

The ships had swapped due to increased freight demand on direct routes to France and low travel volumes between Holyhead and Dublin.

The end of lockdowns have resulted in freight volumes increasing again, so the company needs to switch the vessels back to their pre-lockdown roles.

Paul Grant, Stena Line’s Trade Director,  said: “With huge pent-up demand for travel between Britain and Ireland, and the added bonus of Duty Free, now’s the right time to switch Stena Estrid back.

“Stena Horizon will again operate alongside Stena Foreteller on Rosslare – Cherbourg, offering 12 sailings per week to France.  We’ve doubled our frequency on our direct services to the Continent.”

The last sailing of Stena Estrid to France will be the 1500hrs departure from Cherbourg on 23 May; the ship will then reposition for the 2030hrs departure from Holyhead to Dublin on 24 May.

The last sailing of Stena Horizon from Dublin to Holyhead will be the on 1445hrs departure on 24 May.

The vessel will then return to join the Stena Foreteller on the Rosslare-Cherbourg route, where Stena Line has doubled frequency post-Brexit and offers freight customers the most frequent and shortest service to North-West France.

Stena Horizon’s first departure from Rosslare to Cherbourg will 2100hrs on 25 May.

Stena Estrid will provide two daily return crossings each way between Holyhead and Dublin, where it is expected that onboard Duty-Free sales, now available after Brexit, will become very popular.

Stena Line offers the most comprehensive choice of services on the Irish Sea, with 6 routes from Ireland to Scotland, England, Wales and France, and more than 220 sailings weekly.