Bangor Mail

Stena Line marks 25 years on route

- Owen Hughes

SWEDISH ferry company Stena Line has marked 25 years since the start of their Holyhead to Dublin service.

The company – trading as Stena Sealink – launched on the route in November 1995 and the first vessel to sail on the new service was the Stena Traveller.

Since then the route has grown fivefold and in total they have transporte­d in excess of 12 million passengers, almost 3 million cars and 3.5 million freight units between the two ports.

Today on the route Stena Line operates the Stena Adventurer and the recently-built Stena Estrid.

The anniversar­y comes at a challengin­g time for the company with the Covid pandemic slashing passenger numbers and concerns over the impact of Brexit.

Paul Grant, Stena Line trade director (Irish Sea) said: “The establishm­ent of our Dublin Port-Holyhead operation 25 years ago today has been something of a game changer for us on the Irish Sea.

“Holyhead has been a strategica­lly important commercial gateway between Britain and Ireland for well over a century. Back in 1995 it was clear that Dublin Port was able to offer Stena Line the future expansion opportunit­ies we required to help develop our business potential in the region, and that vision has now been rewarded. Today the service is one of Stena Line’s best performing Irish Sea routes which is why it was chosen to receive the first of the company’s three new build ferries, Stena Estrid.”

But he added: “However, no amount of foresight or planning could have factored in the devastatin­g impact of the Covid 19 pandemic, but I am proud of the key role that Stena Line and my colleagues have played in helping to keep vital food and medical supply lines operationa­l between Ireland and Britain throughout this crisis.

“As we move into 2021, Brexit will also provide a challenge for our business as it will for many others. We have been engaging constructi­vely with authoritie­s on both sides of the Irish Sea to ensure the free flow of goods through our ports and are assisting our freight customers as much as we can in their regulatory preparatio­ns for Brexit.”

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