New Belfast-Liverpool Ferry Launches

In a week full of bad news for NI-UK connectivity, Stena Line has set out to redefine ferry travel on the Irish Sea with a new state-of-the-art ship.

The biggest ferry to ever sail the Belfast to Liverpool route, the Stena Edda embarked on its maiden voyage from Merseyside to Belfast on Monday evening.

The spacious vessel comes with new levels of comfort for both freight and travel guests with greater panoramic views, digitally enhanced customer experiences and a sky bar.

With 40% more deck capacity, 40% more cabins and 30% more fuel efficiency than current vessels on the route, it accommodates up to 1,000 passengers, 120 cars in its dedicated garage deck and 3,100 lane metres of freight.

The ship is part of a £200 million Stena Line investment and is the first of two new ferries that will offer a choice of daily sailings on the popular Belfast to Liverpool route.

It is the product of over six years of planning and construction work.

Despite the 215 metre length of the ferry, new port infrastructure in Belfast and Birkenhead will deliver easier and faster loading and unloading for all passengers.

Visit Belfast's Director of Visitor Servicing Mary Jo McCanny welcomed the boost for sea connectivity between Northern Ireland and Great Britain.
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"Increased connectivity has been a key factor in Belfast's recent tourism renaissance. Sea travel provides well over half of our passenger capacity from our main market in Great Britain, so we welcome Stena Line's commitment to Belfast and their continued investment in their routes.

"In today's environment, investing in efficient green energy as well as providing increased capacity is crucial for Belfast to achieve strong tourism grow in a more sustainable way and something we're finding our potential visitors are looking for."

Paul Grant, Stena Line Trade Director, Irish Sea North said: "As Europe's largest ferry company, this is a very exciting time for Stena Line.

"The Irish Sea is very important to our company and we are committed to enhancing and developing our services on these routes to continue offering the very best freight and travel experience for customers.

"With vessels which are the most spacious and comfortable ever to sail on the Irish Sea, Stena Line is proud to be shaping the ferry industry for the next generation of freight and travel customers.

"The Liverpool to Belfast route has been growing consistently since Stena Line acquired it almost 10 years ago. In that time, we've continued to increase capacity, improve the product and last year was a record-breaking year for freight and travel.

"We have great confidence in the route, and we are determined to continue this growth."

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