Stena Line is consolidating Irish Sea Central Corridor services from Holyhead on Dublin Port, with the high-speed link provided by HSS1500 catamaran Stena Explorer into Dun Laoghaire for almost 20 years not resuming for summer 2015.
Route manager Ian Davies explained: ‘With two services operating to Irish ports approximately ten miles apart we needed to make a decision as to what best serves the need of customers now and in the years ahead – and that operation is Dublin Port.’
Holyhead-Dublin sailings are now in the hands of Stena Adventurer (2003/43,532gt) and the newly-introduced Stena Superfast X (2002/30,285gt), a replacement for Stena Nordica (2000/20,246gt), which is going on charter to DFDS Seaways for service on the Dover-Calais route.
While the HSS service carried over 1.7 million passengers annually during the late 1990s, volumes declined at the same time as fuel costs for gas turbine engined craft soared. Last year only just over 141,000 passengers travelled on a summer link offering a single daily round-trip. The writing was on the wall for Stena Explorer when Stena cancelled sailings scheduled for the 2014 Christmas period, and now all four HSS craft have been taken out of service.