Swedish ferry company Stena Line has confirmed its plans to secure the future stability of its Fishguard-Rosslare service by redeploying the ferry Stena Nordica from its fleet.
Stena Nordica, which has been operating in the Baltic Sea, is a familiar ship on the Irish Sea having provided temporary relief cover on several Irish Sea routes over the last few years. It is scheduled to replace Stena Europe in July.
The Company will commence a formal consultation with the unions representing the crew of Stena Europe, which has operated on the route since 2002. A commitment has been given to ensure they will all be offered roles on Stena Nordica or other Stena Line vessels on the Irish Sea.
Paul Grant, Trade Director (Irish Sea) said: “Over the last decade, Stena Line has invested heavily in its Irish Sea routes with a combination of new tonnage and a range of port facility upgrades.
“I’m pleased to announce that we have now managed to secure an upgraded vessel from within our fleet, which is fully equipped for the purpose of operating full-time on our popular Fishguard-Rosslare service.
“Stena Europe has operated on the route for many years, and we are delighted we have been able to secure the Stena Nordica on a permanent basis.
“Stena Nordica is currently being upgraded with increased passenger capacity and a range of new and improved facilities, which will offer an enhanced customer experience.”
Grant concluded: “We are mindful that Stena Europe has been operating Fishguard – Rosslare for many years, so we will be doing our level best to ensure as smooth a transition as possible as we embark upon an exciting new chapter for the route.”
Stena Line also owns the port of Fishguard in Wales, where employees remain unaffected by today’s announcement.
Stena Line is the largest ferry operator on the Irish Sea, with the biggest fleet offering the widest choice of routes including, combined passenger and freight services from Belfast to Cairnryan and Liverpool, Dublin to Holyhead, and Rosslare to Fishguard routes, as well as a freight only route from Belfast to Heysham, a total of up to 238 weekly sailing options between Britain and Ireland.
Stena Line also offers a direct service from Rosslare to Cherbourg and will be introducing an upgraded ship, Stena Vision, to this route for summer 2023, making this route the most frequent service from Ireland to France with 12 sailings per week.
Main photo by Dave O’Byrne