The last of Stena Line’s three new ferries destined for the Irish Sea has completed its sea trials in China’s Yellow Sea. Stena Embla is the latest next generation RoPax vessel that is being constructed at the CMI Jingling Weihai Shipyard in China.

Stena Line CEO Niclas Mårtensson says that the introduction of Stena Embla and its sister ships, Stena Estrid and Stena Edda, reflects the company’s commitment to the Irish Sea. ‘We strongly believe that our ferry business on the Irish Sea will continue to grow. It remains a key region for the company, as evidenced by our continued investment and the addition of 3 new vessels.’

‘It has been a very challenging year for our business. But I am proud that as Europe’s largest ferry company, Stena Line continues to shape the industry for life after the global pandemic and to put us into a position to support our customers after Brexit,’ he concludes.

More energy efficient and more capacity

Part of a multi-million-pound investment in the region, the new Stena Line ferries are amongst the most advanced vessels in operation. They are said to be 25 per cent more fuel-efficient than existing vessels.

With 215 metres in length, they are much larger than today’s standard RoPax vessels, providing 30 per cent more freight capacity with 3100 lane metres. They also have the space to carry 120 cars and 1000 passengers and crew. The roll-on roll-off design and the ability to load two vehicle decks simultaneously has reduced loading and unloading times, resulting in quicker turnaround times in ports.

Fleet expansion

The global pandemic did not delay the build of the vessel, which is being delivered to the agreed schedule. Next up for Stena Embla is an official handover ceremony at the shipyard before it sets sail on the long journey from China to Belfast. Arriving home around Christmas in time to start operating on the Belfast to Birkenhead route in early 2021 alongside sister ship Stena Edda, launched in March.

The new vessel replaces the Stena Mersey, which has operated on the Belfast to Birkenhead route for 10 years. The Mersey will then head off to join sister ship, the Stena Lagan, in Turkey where both ships are being extended, before re-deployment on the Baltic Sea.

During the summer, Stena Line also confirmed that the construction of two new larger E-Flexer ferries has begun in Weihai, China. Their keels were recently laid in the same shipyard in Weihai and the delivery is expected in 2022.

Stena Embla particulars

The name Embla is connected to Stena Line’s Swedish heritage. Norse mythology, Embla was the first woman. Her name comes from the Old Norse word for “elm”.

  • Builder: AVIC Weihai Shipyard Co (Weihai, China)
  • Type: Ro-Pax ship
  • Ferry route / homeports: Dublin-Holyhead
  • Operator: Stena Line
  • Speed:22 knots
  • Length (LOA): 215 m
  • Beam (width): 28 m
  • Gross Tonnage: 42,400
  • Lane metres: 3100
  • Passengers: 1000
  • Cars: 120
  • Freight vehicles: 210
  • Cabins: 175