The 7th vessel in the Stena E-Flexer class was floated out at China Merchants' Jinling shipyard in Weihai.
The newbuild cruiseferry of Stena Line (Swedish ferry company) has yard number WO270 and is not named yet (Stena Estelle). It is the first of two 240-m long E-Flexer MkII variants. The units are the last of the 5x E-Flexer vessels ordered by STENA LINE via Stena RoRo (parent company).
The launching ceremony for the ferry took place on May 24, 2021, with the vessel leaving the building dock on May 25.
Despite the latest vessel being the largest to date, she was the quickest to be assembled so far. The keel of the newest Stena addition was laid, along with those for the next couple of ships in the series, on October 14, last year. Block assembly commenced in February 2021 and was finished in just 105 days, the shipyard revealed.
WO270 is scheduled for delivery in May 2022, with an identical sistership (Ebba) to follow in November 2022. Their arrival will displace the smaller Stena Baltica and Stena Scandica (fka Stena Mersey and Stena Lagan) from the Nynashamn Sweden - Ventspils Latvia route, should plans remain unchanged. It is likely Baltica and Scandica will then be transferred to another route of Stena Line. A possible route would be the Karlskrona Sweden - Gdynia Poland, which many expected to receive the lengthened E-Flexers.
The vessels will be 240 m long and have a load capacity of 3600 lanemetres, bigger than the first 3 in the E-Flexer series. As a result, the ferries will have 50% more cabins and beds, 30% increased passenger capacity, and an additional 15% cargo capacity. They will be equipped to use shore power during port calls in order to reduce emissions.
Stena Embla was the 3rd of 5 new "E-Flexer" class RoPax ships built by AVIC Weihai Shipyard Co Ltd, as part of the extensive modernization of the fleet. It is the last of 3 newbuilds due for the Irish Sea, which marked the end of a 7-year development program totaling a GBP 400 million investment in new ferries and port infrastructure in the region.