Stena Estrid has been announced by Stena Line as the first of its three new ferries to complete her sea trials on China's Yellow Sea.
The sea trials consisted of three days of rigorous testing that saw the vessel perform excellently across a wide range of stringent test criteria. The vessel is now on schedule for operation on the Dublin to Holyhead route starting in early 2020.
Stena Estrid marks the first of five new Stena Line next generation RoPax vessels. These vessels are all being constructed at the AVIC Weihai Shipyard in China. Three of the new vessels will be put to work on Stena Line's Irish Sea routes from Dublin to Holyhead and Belfast to Liverpool.
Stena Edda is also due to start operating next year, on the Belfast to Liverpool route with Stena Embla, expected in 2021, to also service this route.
Part of a multi-million-pound investment in the region, the new Stena Line ships will be amongst the most advanced vessels in operation and larger than today's standard RoPax vessels.
The sea trials test every aspect of the vessels functionality and safety, the standards are high to ensure passengers and crews safety as well as to protect Stena Line's investments. The trials concern themselves with areas such as engine performance, fuel consumption, navigation and radio equipment, emergency services, speed tests, manoeuvrability, engine and thruster tests and general safety tests.
Stena Line's CCO, Paul Grant, has stated;
"Today the first of our five next generation ferries achieved a very important milestone. Sea trials are a critical phased in a new ship's development, as our first opportunity to take a new vessel out to sea, put her through her paces and test that she is up to the high standards required by Stena Line. We systematically go through all aspects of the new ship and I am pleased to say that Stena Estrid has successfully completed every trial. We now look forward to the full handover of the vessel by the shipyard and to starting her journey to the Irish Sea."
Stena Line's CEO Niclas Mårtensson added;
"We strongly believe that our ferry business on the Irish Sea will continue to grow and it remains a key region for the company, as evidenced by our continued investment and the addition of three new vessels, underscoring Stena Line's committment to our Irish Sea operations and our determination to deliver the best possible freight and travel experience to our customers. Stena Estrid will bring many benefits to our customers including speedy and efficient loading and unloading operations, plus further development of our Scandinavian-inspired facilities... This is a very exciting time for our business and I'm proud that as Europe's largest ferry company, Stena Line continues to shape the industry for the next generation of freight and travel customers."
At 215 metres in length, Stena Estrid and her sister ships for the Irish Sea will be larger than today's standard RoPax vessels and will provide freight capacity of 3,100 lane meters and the space to carry 120 cars and 1,000 passengers and crew. Next up for Estrid is an official handover ceremony at the shipyard before she sets sail on the long journey from China to Holyhead.