Redefining ferry travel on the Irish Sea

10 March 2020

Redefining ferry travel on the Irish Sea
The next generation of ferry travel went into service yesterday evening (9th March) as Stena Line reaffirmed its commitment to operations on the Irish Sea and providing the ‘very best freight and travel experience for customers’.

Stena Edda, the biggest ferry ever to sail on the Belfast to Liverpool route, embarked on its maiden voyage on Monday evening as it left Merseyside for Belfast amid a host of celebrations which included a spectacular countdown lightshow. 

With 40% more deck capacity, 40% more cabins and 30% more fuel efficiency than current vessels on the route, Edda accommodates up to 1,000 passengers, 120 cars in its dedicated garage deck and 3,100 lane metres of freight.

Redefining ferry travel on the Irish Sea, Edda is more spacious than previous vessels on the route with a Sky Bar and Scandinavian design providing new levels of comfort for both freight and travel guests.

The vessel also offers greater panoramic views as well as digitally enhanced customer experiences.

Despite the 215 metres length of the ferry, the new port infrastructure in Belfast and Birkenhead will deliver easier and faster loading and unloading for all passengers.

Stena Edda is part of an investment of over £200million by Stena Line in three new vessels and port upgrades, involving the company’s partners at Peel Ports and Belfast Harbour. Edda is the first of two new ferries that will offer a choice of daily sailings on the popular Belfast to Liverpool route.

Mary Jo McCanny, Visit Belfast’s Director of Visitor Servicing welcomed the commitment made by Stena Line in one of the key ferry services from Great Britain; “Increased connectivity has been a key factor in Belfast’s recent tourism renaissance.  Sea travel provides well over half of our passenger capacity from our main market in Great Britain, so we welcome Stena Line’s commitment to Belfast and their continued investment in their routes.  We’re delighted to be here to welcome the first of what we hope will be many passengers from Liverpool – the two port cities share much in common, and we expect visitors from the North West of England will enjoy our flourishing tourism offering, from music, culture to maritime heritage.

“In today’s environment, investing in efficient green energy as well as providing increased capacity is crucial for Belfast to achieve strong tourism grow in a more sustainable way and something we’re finding our potential visitors are looking for.”

Paul Grant, Stena Line Trade Director Irish Sea North said: “As Europe’s largest ferry company, this is a very exciting time for Stena Line.

“The Irish Sea is very important to our company and we are committed to enhancing and developing our services on these routes to continue offering the very best freight and travel experience for customers.

“With vessels which are the most spacious and comfortable ever to sail on the Irish Sea, Stena Line is proud to be shaping the ferry industry for the next generation of freight and travel customers.

“The Liverpool to Belfast route has been growing consistently since Stena Line acquired it almost 10 years ago. In that time, we’ve continued to increase capacity, improve the product and last year was a record-breaking year for freight and travel.

“We have great confidence in the route, and we are determined to continue this growth.”

Stena Edda goes into service having completed an epic four-week voyage from ship builders in the Far East. It has also undergone stringent sea trials and berthing exercises in both Liverpool and Birkenhead.

The multi-million-pound vessel represents over six years planning and construction work, including design development in Sweden to reflect Stena Line’s Swedish heritage.