Six, new generation RoPax ferries are currently under construction at the AVIC Shipyard in China, with three of the Stena Line vessels to serve Irish Sea routes.
Known as Stena E-Flexer, each ship will have capacity for 3,100 metres of freight vehicles and 1000 passengers. The vessel operating on the Holyhead - Dublin route will operate four sailings each day, with a crossing time of around 3 1/2 hours. Deployment is planned for the beginning of 2020.
The two other E-Flexer vessels will be assigned to the Liverpool - Belfast service are planned for launch in the spring of 2020 and early 2021.
"Our Irish Sea routes are strategically very important to Stena Line with the freight market in particular between Ireland and UK experiencing significant growth over the last five years. That is why over the last five years we have invested almost £200m in our ports and vessels across the region to improve and upweight our capacity to offer a frequent, reliable and high-quality service for our freight and travel customers. The deployment of three new vessels is a tangible example of our strategic growth plan for the Irish Sea.
"Freight volumes have surpassed the Celtic Tiger peaks of 2007 and we are confident that this upward trend will continue. 2017 was a record year for Stena Line carrying over 800,000 freight units on our routes to and from the Island of Ireland. We welcome the addition of the first of our new generation RoPax vessels on Holyhead - Dublin. It will significantly increase freight capacity and raise the service standards for travel and freight guests."