Stena Line, Bnr. W0263-279 ved AVIC Weihai, E-Flexer "Estrid/Edda/Galicia/Embla/Côte d’Opale/Salamanca/Estelle/Ebba/Santoña/G. de Normandie/Ala’suinu"


Staff member

The third ship in the E-Flexer series will be delivered with a Brittany Ferries livery © Stena AB

Brittany Ferries confirms charter of Chinese-built E-Flexer from Stena Ferry

In a telephone interview with Shippax, Brittany Ferries has confirmed that they will charter the third ship in Stena’s E-Flexer series to be built at Avic Weihai in China.

"We have signed a five-year bareboat charter agreement with an option to extend the charter or purchase the ship," Christophe Mathieu, Brittany Ferries' CEO, told Shippax.

In Stena's typical 'can-do philosophy', the 927-passenger ship will be tailored to Brittany Ferries' needs and will get extra cabins, although the 3,100-lanemetre intake will be retained.

"Stena was willing to make modifications in the accommodation and adapt the ship to our requirements," Mr Mathieu added. "The ship will get a typical Brittany Ferries touch but it is unknown who will be in charge of the interior design."

Although built as gas-ready, Brittany Ferries decided to install scrubbers on the newbuilding. The 212m by 27.8m ro-pax will replace the DFDS-owned BAIE DE SEINE, the charter of which expires in April 2019 with no option to have it prolonged.

Yard delivery of the Stena ro-pax is expected in early fall 2020, i.e. about 1.5 year after the BAIE DE SEINE will have been handed back to DFDS. As a stopgap solution, Brittany Ferries might replace BAIE DE SEINE by NORMANDIE or ETRETAT. The latter ship is already on charter from Stena RoRo whereas NORMANDIE will be replaced on the Ouistreham (Caen)-Portsmouth route by the new HONFLEUR, due to be delivered from Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft in June 2019.

BAIE DE SEINE currently serves both Le Havre and Spain from Portsmouth, but Christophe Mathieu told Shippax that the new Stena ferry will serve Spain from Portsmouth, although no decision has yet been taken whether this will be Santander or Bilbao.

Stena ordered four E-Flexer-Class ro-paxes in April 2016 with an option for another four vessels. All four ships were initially earmarked to operate from the Belfast hub but Stena has meanwhile reviewed its plans and will take over the chartered Belfast-Cairnryan ferries STENA SUPERFAST VII and VIII from the AS Tallink Grupp in December.

This week construction has officially started with the steel cutting for the first E-Flexer which should be delivered in 2019.

© Shippax / Philippe Holthof

AVIC lays keel for first of Stena’s E-Flexer ferries

A keel-laying ceremony has been held for the first of four E-Flexer class Ro-Pax ferries for Sweden’s Stena Line at China’s AVIC Weihai Shipyard.

Stena Line Chief Executive Niclas Mårtensson said four coins (GBP, EUR, SEK and RMB) were placed under the keel-block as a symbol of good fortune for the 214.5-metre by 27.8-metre by 6.4-metre vessel.

Accommodating 1,000 passengers in 175 cabins, the 3,100-lane metre Ro-Pax vessel has capacity for 120 cars.

She is powered by two 12,600kW diesel engines that achieve an operating speed of 22 knots.

Scheduled for delivery in 2019 and 2020, the new RoPax vessels will be deployed on the Irish Sea.

Klide: Baird Maritime
Stena Line har erklært den første av fire opsjoner, for så å leige den ut til DFDS for 10 år. Bygg nr. blir W0267 og levering er satt til Desember 2020. Stena Line har fortsatt tre opsjoner til ved verftet


The new ship will be able to carry 3,100 lane metres of cargo and 1,000 passengers. It will be built in China and deployed on the Channel in 2021.

The Channel is a big and important market for DFDS. Every year, five million passengers, one million cars and 1.2 million trucks travel between Dover – Calais and Dover – Dunkerque on DFDS' ferries. And to continuously meet the customers' demands, DFDS has decided to deploy a new ship specially designed for the services in the Channel from 2021. The ship will be built in Avic Weihai shipyard in China.

"Since the ship has not yet been built, we have great opportunities to make sure that it is designed to give our guests the best possible experience with a completely new ship. We will charter the ship from Stena RoRo and operate it for 10 years with an option to buy it after that. And since we are considering replacing the fleet on the Channel in 2031, the timing is really good," says Peder Gellert, EVP of the Shipping Division in DFDS.

Four DFDS captains have been testing in simulators how to navigate the future ship to make sure that the new ship is best fitted out for the conditions on the Channel. "When sailing on the Channel, we need to ensure that the ship is at least as fast in arrival and departure situations as our current ships. Therefore, we have made modifications to increase maneuverability," says Henrik Tidblad, Commercial Fleet Director.

The ferry will be highly efficient and environmentally friendly with an expected reduction in oil consumption of around 25% compared to current ferries. It will be able to carry 3,100 lane metres of cargo and 1,000 passengers. With this capacity, it will be the largest of the ships on the Channel.

"I am really looking forward to getting this fantastic ship to boost the business on the Channel. This new ship gives us excellent opportunities to develop our business on the commercial side. A newbuild ship will give us the flexibility to make room for tax-free shopping, depending on the outcome of Brexit. Together with an architect, we will design the interior of the ship to make sure we maximise our opportunities," says Kasper Moos, VP of Business Unit Channel in DFDS.

The initial plan is for replacement of the oldest of the ferries, Calais Seaways, which was built in 1991. Market developments will determine the final deployment plan, which will be announced in 2020.

"TBN Seaways"

Illustrasjon: Deltamarin Ltd.

Brittany Ferries has confirmed it's order for two new cruise ferries to meet increasing demand for travel on services from Britain to Spain. The ships are part of a £400m fleet renewal programme and the first will arrive in time for the 2021 holiday season. Based in Portsmouth, they will follow the launch of Honfleur in 2019, the first cross-channel ferry to be powered by LNG (liquefied natural gas).

In the last ten years, the number of passengers travelling by ferry to Spain has grown by around 80 percent to more than 330,000. By adding more freight capacity, the company is confident that it can also grow the 40,000 freight units it carries annually.

“Today’s announcement is a clear statement of intent and investment in the future,” said Jean-Marc Roué, Brittany Ferries president. “We expect growth in passenger numbers to continue post-Brexit and an increase in freight capacity will open the door to more haulage business between the UK and Iberian peninsula.”

The 42,200 tonne vessels are being chartered from Swedish shipping company Stena RoRo, with an option to buy after five years. Both will be gas ready and promise a combination of luxury and Spanish style. Within three passenger decks the ships will host boutiques, cafes, restaurants and bars to cater for around 1,000 passengers with 300 en-suite cabins.

Brittany Ferries is a French company, but 85% of around 2.5 million passengers carried annually are British. Portsmouth is its UK hub, with up to eight departures a day in the summer.

The company, which also sails from Poole and Plymouth, serves five destinations in France and two in northern Spain – Santander and Bilbao. - (Tony)

Kilde: Brittany Ferries
Stena Line Confirms Plans for Three Irish Sea Newbuilds

Swedish ferry company Stena Line has confirmed that the first of its new RoPax ferries currently under construction in China is planned to enter service on its Holyhead – Dublin route in early 2020, while the following two are assigned to Liverpool-Belfast.

Last year Stena announced a newbuild contract for a new generation of RoPax ferry vessels, Stena E-Flexer, with planned deliveries during 2020 and 2021. Stena ordered six new vessels from the AVIC Shipyard in China and the plan is to locate three of these ships on Stena Line´s Irish Sea routes. The other three will be chartered out to external parties by Stena Line’s sister company Stena RoRo.

“Our Irish Sea routes are strategically very important to Stena Line and our customer, with the freight market between Ireland and UK experiencing significant growth over the last five years. That’s why we have invested almost GBP 200m in our ports and vessels across the region to improve and grow our capacity,” Niclas Mårtensson, Stena Line’s CEO, commented.

The new vessel being deployed will have a capacity for 1,000 passengers, 120 cars as well as 3,100 freight lane meters delivering 4 daily sailings with an estimated crossing time of approximately 3.5 hrs.

“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 in the Irish Sea where we carried 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,” Ian Davies, Stena Line Trade Director Irish Sea South, said.

Also for region Irish Sea North, the new vessels are the basis for continued growth.

“This is a significant boost for our popular Belfast – Liverpool service. The two new ships will be the biggest ships ever to operate on the Belfast – Liverpool service and will increase capacity for freight and travel customers as well as raising the service standards,” according to Paul Grant, Stena Line Trade Director.

Grant added that the expansion program comes on the back of Stena’s recent purchase of Superfast ships on the Belfast-Cairnryan service which enables “continued future growth” in the region.

Kilde: World Maritime News
Namna på dei to i denne serien som skal på chart til Brittany Ferries blir "Galicia" og "Salamanca"

Illustrasjon: via Brittany Ferries
These two last vessels are larger than the initial six, 239.7m x 27.8m, with a capacity of 1,200 passengers and 3,600 lane meters each (the former six are 215 meters long with 3.100 lane meters and 930 passengers). In addition, the company has taken an option on the construction of four more.
Guess the one for DFDS have less focus on passengers accomodation than the others, but most likely planning future space for large tax-free shops on the channel trade if that will be the outcome of Brexit?
Stena Line Cuts Steel for 3rd RoPax for Irish Sea Routes

Swedish ferry company Stena Line has reached an important milestone in its new fleet investment programme with the steel cutting of the third E-Flexer RoPax ship to be deployed on its Irish Sea routes.

With this development, the company said that its new E-Flexer ships, planned to enter into service on the Irish Sea during 2020 and 2021, are on schedule and under construction at the AVIC Weihai Shipyard in China.

The first of the new vessels will start operation on the Holyhead to Dublin route in early 2020, with the remaining two ships to be introduced on the Liverpool to Belfast route in 2020 and 2021.
“We are delighted to report that the steel cutting ceremony for the third of our Irish Sea E-Flexer ships has now taken place and that construction is going to plan across all three of our new generation RoPax vessels,” Peter Arvidsson, Stena Line Chief Operating Officer, said.

All three Irish Sea E-Flexer vessels will be bigger than today’s standard RoPax vessels at 215 meters long with a freight capacity of 3,100 lane meters and the space to carry 120 cars and 1,000 passengers.

Earlier this year, Stena Line ordered a further two E-Flexer RoPax vessels with a larger design, to be deployed within Stena Line’s network in 2022. Ordered in July 2018, these larger ships will be 240 meters long with a total freight capacity of 3,600 lane meters, and passenger capacity of 1,200.

“With continued investment in our fleet, we want to lead the development of sustainable shipping and set new industry standards when it comes to operational performance, emissions and cost competitiveness,” Arvidsson added.

Kilde: World Maritime News
Stena’s first E-Flexer almost ready to be floated

FerryAVIC Weihai’s shipyard is a beehive of activity to get Stena’s first E-Flexer ready for delivery in less than one year from now. Today, 5 December, Shippax inspected the accommodation mock-up and the ship itself – and how impressed we were! The yet-unnamed ro-pax – earmarked for Stena Line’s Holyhead-Dublin service – is almost ready to be floated on 16 January. This event will coincide with the keel laying of the third ship in the E-Flexer series, the GALICIA (yard number 267) – a modified version that will be taken on long-term bareboat charter by Brittany Ferries.

In the March edition of ShippaxInfo, readers will get the full story of Stena's ultimate 'one size fits all ro-pax'. The first ship is still wrapped in scaffolding but this will disappear very soon to make her ready for the floating in full Stena Line livery. Exactly 615 yard people were working on board the ship today and Per Westling of Stena RoRo – the Stena AB subsidiary in charge of the supervision – told Shippax that he was impressed by the workmanship, also pointing out that that the deck plating was extremely flat – something that bodes well.

Ducting is complete and 75% of the cabling is in place. The yard has also started with the insulation and the last batch of windows should arrive from France next week. The scale 1/1 mock-up, combining bits and pieces of the ship's accommodation, including public spaces, cabins, stairs and signage, etc. felt like a real Stena Line ferry but Figura Arkitekter, the ship's interior architect, successfully managed to give it a more contemporary touch. We are eager to see the final result!
AVIC Shipyard delivered the ro-ro ROSA DEI VENTI to Giovanni Visentini in April. More recently the ro-pax NEW GRAND PEACE was delivered to Jiaodong Shipping Group. With eight E-Flexers on order and an option for three more ships of the same class, the Chinese mid-size shipyard is now the world's leading ro-pax builder. The shipyard management is poised to land more ro-pax orders and is primarily targeting ferry operators outside China with several potential projects in the pipeline, so watch this space!

Our next 'port of call' during this one-week-stay in China is Yantai.

Kilde: Shippax


Foto: Philippe Holthof
And here is E-Flexer number two

FerryThursday, 6 December – another day at the AVIC Weihai shipyard to mingle with Stena RoRo’s on-site team and the committed shipyard management. The second E-Flexer Class vessel – to be delivered in early 2020 – is growing fast, taking shape side-by-side its sister ship in the neighbouring building dock.

We were shown around the first vessel yesterday and the well-organized shipyard today... We cannot wait to see the first ship entering into service for Stena Line on the Irish Sea. In the meantime, we have to content ourselves with some pictures and in-depth stories that will follow in our magazine next year.

Kilde: Shippax


Foto: Philippe Holthof
Namnet på den første til Stena Line blir "Stena Estrid"

Foto: Ukjent via Stena Line
Stena Line Floats 1st Next Generation Ferry in China

Swedish ferry company Stena Line has launched its first next generation RoPax vessel at the Avic Weihai Shipyard in China.

The first new vessel, to be named Stena Estrid, took to the water for the first time on January 16.

Scheduled to enter service on the Dublin to Holyhead route in early 2020, the unit is the first of three new E-Flexer vessels bound for the Irish Sea by 2021. The other two vessels from the series will be running the line between Belfast and Liverpool.

“The Stena Estrid successfully completed its float out manoeuvre from dry dock at the Avic Shipyard and now enters a busy phase of works ahead of its Irish Sea launch early next year,” Stena Line CEO Niclas Mårtensson said.

On the same day, the shipyard hosted the keel-laying of the third vessel from the series.

Stena Lines’ sister company Stena RoRo is managing all the E-Flexer building projects that are ongoing on Avic Weihai Shipyard.

“We are very happy with the great collaboration with AVIC Shipyard, which includes both development and production of the E-Flexer series. From a customer standpoint we have exacting requirements on adaptation and flexibility, which the shipyard has successfully provided, and done so largely with good levels of quality,” Stena RoRo’s CEO Per Westling commented.

In total, Stena RoRo, placed orders for eight Stena E-Flexer class vessels with the Chinese AVIC Weihai Shipyard between 2016 and 2018.

Stena Line will operate a total of five E-Flexer vessels, two of which are an extended design.

The three vessels that are being built for the Irish Sea will be larger than today’s standard RoPax vessels at a length of 215 meters with a freight capacity of 3,100 lane meters and the space to carry 120 cars and 1,000 passengers.

The two E-Flexer RoPax vessels with a larger design will be deployed within Stena Line’s network in 2022. These larger ships will be 240 meters long and will have a total freight capacity of 3,600 lane meters, and passenger capacity of 1,200.

As for the remaining newbuilds, Brittany Ferries has hired two vessels, including the one for which a keel was laid yesterday. The duo will complement the company’s current fleet of freight and passenger vessels, travelling between Portsmouth in the UK and Bilbao and Santander in Spain.

DFDS has also signed a 10-year charter contract for one E-Flexer, to be used to travel across the English Channel.

Kilde: World Maritime News