Two Stena Line chartered sister ferries come to Remontowa for major refit
Tallink and Stena Line entered in a charter agreement for sister vessels Superfast VII and Superfast VIII servicing the route between Rostock and Helsinki so far. From Autumn 2011, after transformation of passenger and cargo spaces at "Remontowa", they will join Stena Line UK fleet for a 3 years deal including a 1 year option for both vessels. Stena will be able to buy the vessels once the charter ended.
Superfast VII and Superfast VIII will be used on the Irish Sea route linking Belfast and Stranraer (with the latter to be replaced by Loch Ryan soon). The vessels will undergo an extensive refit programme in order to be upgraded according to Stena Line requirements for the new route for these ships. The ferries come to Gdańsk - based "Remontowa" Shiprepair Yard in the second half of August for this refit, upgrade, repairs and maintenance programme.
This will include stripping all passenger cabins off decks 7th and 8th. They will be replaced by common passenger spaces with restaurants, bars and entertainment functions. Also car decks will be modified and all necessary changes or upgrades to general ship's systems will be performed. In result, the pair will be converted from overnight ferries (with 678 beds) to day ferries to operate an intensive 2 hours 15 minutes crossing.
As reported on www. stenaline.ie: “Both vessels will be given extensive refits to ensure they deliver a great experience with new attractive onboard concepts for restaurants and public areas and as well as providing complete flexibility for freight operators. The upgrades will include the provision of extra deck height to cater for the trend towards higher vehicles and hauliers' increased use of double-deck freight units”.
After conversion, the 27 knot Superfast VII and Superfast VIII will be able to handle 1200 passengers with 660 cars or 120 freight vehicles. The two ferries will enter into service in autumn 2011.
The ferries to be upgraded at "Remontowa" before the end of Autumn 2011 were built at HDW Yard, Kiel, in 2001 for Greek Superfast Ferries. In 2006, they were sold to Estonian Tallink. The Superfast VII and the Superfast VIII will replace the HSS Stena Voyager, the Stena Caledonia and the Stena Navigator on the Belfast-Stranraer run.