Stena Line is this month celebrating the 25th anniversary of its ferry operations between Dublin Port and Holyhead – a quarter of a century that has seen the ferry company carry in excess of 12 million passengers, almost 3 million cars and 3.5 million freight units on the route.
Today on the route, Stena Line operates the Stena Adventurer and the recently-built Stena Estrid, the first of three ‘next generation’ ferries commissioned for the Irish Sea, accommodating a mix of freight and leisure traffic.
Over the last 25 years, Stena Line has invested significantly in the Dublin to Holyhead route as volumes have increased significantly both in freight and leisure travel numbers.
In fact, if all vehicles that have travelled with Stena Line to and from Dublin Port were laid end to end, they would circle the entire globe.
“The establishment of our Dublin Port-Holyhead operation 25 years ago has been something of a game changer for us on the Irish Sea,” said Paul Grant, Stena Line Trade Director (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.”
This year, of course, has seen one major challenge.
“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," he explained.
"We have worked hard to keep our guests and colleagues safe throughout this challenging time and are confident that the ferry industry will be one of the first sectors of the tourism sector to see a return to pre-Covid trading, when it is deemed safe to do so.”
Stena Line is the largest ferry operator on the Irish Sea, with passenger and freight services from Dublin to Holyhead, Rosslare to Fishguard routes, Belfast to Cairnryan and Liverpool, as well as a freight only route from Belfast to Heysham.