Stena Line is celebrating a successful first five years on its Belfast to Liverpool and Heysham routes which have experienced significant growth following their acquisition from DFDS.
Since the £40m purchase in 2011, Stena Line’s carryings on the routes have gone from strength to strength with approximately 1.3m guests, 370,000 cars and a staggering 1.45 million freight units making the trip across the Irish Sea.
Freight volumes on the two routes since Stena Line took them over have increased by 37 per cent, with passenger numbers rising by 14.5 per cent and car traffic growing by 8.4 per cent during the same period.
Investment in the routes has been significant with more than £9 million spent since 2011 across all aspects of the service, including cabin improvements, upgrades to the truckers lounge, the introduction of premium Stena Plus lounges and quiet rooms, and an overhaul of the ships’ existing bar and restaurant facilities to bring them into line with the rest of the Stena Line fleet.
In addition, they have added extra capacity and frequency via the introduction of a fifth ship serving Birkenhead and Heysham.
In 2013, the company added extra freight tonnage to the Liverpool service in the form of the Stena Hibernia which provided an extra eight trips per week, increasing capacity by 30.8 per cent and bringing the total number of weekly sailings to 34 across both routes.