Stena Superfast VIII ferry Review and Specifications
Specifications of Stena Superfast VIII ferry
|Year built||2001 / Age : 18|
|Builder||(HDW) Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft (Kiel, Germany)|
|Class||fast cruiseferry (Ro-Ro ship)|
|Ferry route / homeports||Belfast-Cairnryan|
|Building cost||EUR 130 million|
|Owner||Stena AB Group (via Stena RoRo)|
|Speed||27 kn / 50 kph / 31 mph|
|Length (LOA)||204 m / 669 ft|
|Beam (width)||25 m / 82 ft|
|Gross Tonnage||30285 gt|
|Decks with cabins||1|
|Sister-ships||Stena Superfast VII, Stena Superfast X, Atlantic Vision|
|Former names||Superfast VIII|
Current position of Stena Superfast VIII ferry
Review of Stena Superfast VIII ferry
MS Stena Superfast VIII ferry is a Ro-Pax passenger vessel operated by the Sweden-based company STENA LINE. The ship has a max capacity of 1200 passengers and 660 cars (or 110 lorries). The vessel was launched in 2001 and currently operates on the Ireland-Scotland ferry route Belfast-Cairnryan (crossing time 2 hours 15 min).
As cruise ferry, Stena Superfast VIII offers a total of 128 cabins (called "Superfast Suites"). All staterooms are outside and located on Deck 10 (next to Pure Nordic Spa). Each cabin accommodates up to 5 passengers and offers as amenities double bed with bunk beds, en-suite bathroom (WC / shower), flat TV, linens, towels, toiletries, tea-coffee making facilities, bottled water, comfortable seating area (2-seat sofa, armchair, low table, large Picture Window), desk (mirrored vanity table with chair), wardrobe, mini-fridge, free Wi-Fi. High chairs are available on request. Pets (including in pet carriers) are not permitted in passenger cabins. All passengers must vacate their suites 30 min prior to homeport arrival.
For reserved seating, passengers can upgrade to the Stena Plus Lounge (deck 8). Reserved seat deals are inclusive of airline type seats (fully reclining leather armchairs), complimentary hot and cold beverages (coffee, specialty teas, soft drinks, wine by the glass), snacks, newspapers, magazines, waiter service.
All crew cabins and lounges (mess room, lobby lounge, smoking room, sauna, gym, laundry facilities) are on Deck 9 (crew-only deck). On Deck 9 is also the ship's Hospital (first-aid room).
Shipboard dining and entertainment options
As facilities, the Stena Superfast VIII ship offers:
- (deck 7) Taste Restaurant (self-service buffet, hot and cold meals, kids menus)
- (deck 7) Metropolitan Bar (also serves wine by the glass and European beers)
- (deck 8) Barista Coffee Bar (patisserie/specialty coffee bar selling sandwiches, cakes, pastries, fruit salads, yogurt, ice cream, hot/cold drinks)
- (deck 7) Children's Room (indoor soft play playground for kids) is fitted with large TV for watching cartoons, toys, and games, and offers supervised activities).
- (deck 8) Cinema (tickets can be purchased from Information Desk on Lobby Deck 7)
- (deck 7) Teen Town (video games room with arcade machines)
- (deck 8) Truckers Lounge (truck drivers only bar lounge and restaurant)
- (deck 8) POD Lounge, Magazine Lounge, Living Room, News Room (conference hall)
- (deck 7) Stena Shopping Center (gifts, souvenirs, spirits, wines, tobaccos, brand perfumes and cosmetics, skin care products, leather goods, toys, confectionery, fashion clothing and accessories, gadgets and electronics, designer watches, sunglasses and jewelry, convenience goods and travel essentials, deck 7). Onboard retail shopping promotions are often held and provide up to 50% discounted pricing on big brand merchandise.
- (deck 10) Pure Nordic Spa (Jacuzzi, male and female saunas)
- (deck 7) Casino (slot machines)
- (deck 7) Promenade Deck / outdoor smoking area
- Sun Deck (deck 10)
- free Wi-Fi service
- ATM / cash machine (next to Information Desk / Reception on Deck 7).
- Dog Hotel (booths for dogs with outdoor exercise area)
- Midship on top deck 11 (Heli Deck) there is a helipad - helicopter landing area used in cases of emergency.
- All bars and lounges are fitted with large flat TVs and comfortable seating.
All onboard emergency instructions are displayed in staterooms, on the TV screens and at the ship's assembly stations (aka muster stations). Life jackets are issued at the assembly stations. In case of emergency, the use of elevators/passenger lifts is forbidden.
STENA ferry deals
Follows a list of discounts and special offers provided by Stena Line (direct bookings only).
- On the routes Holland-UK (Hook of Holland-Harwich, day voyages only), Denmark-Norway (Frederikshavn-Oslo, Monday to Friday only), Denmark-Sweden (Grenaa-Varberg) and Germany-Sweden (Rugen Island / Sassnitz-Trelleborg and Rostock-Trelleborg), passengers can ferry caravans free of charge. This discount applies to the car plus caravan fares and can't be combined with other offers.
- Motorhomes can be ferried between UK and Holland priced as cars (day voyages only).
- STENA's train and ferry deals offer discounted pricing on train travel to London (fares subject to availability). STENA issues e-tickets (not separate train tickets) and the passenger's self-printed e-ticket serves as a train ticket. Dutch Railways tickets (to and from the port) can't be included in the ferry booking. These e-tickets are not valid on private UK rail carriers. Intercity Direct and ICE trains are with extra charge.
- Special meals (vegan, vegetarian, kosher, halal food, gluten- or lactose-free foods) can be pre-ordered on the UK-Holland route Harwich-Hook of Holland. All the ingredients used for these special meals are verified by their manufacturers. Vegetarian meals contain dairy products, eggs, vegetables. Muslim meals don't contain pork (or by-products) as well as food containing alcohol. Special food orders must be made 48 hours prior departure (via email upon booking or by calling +31 (0)174 - 315 811).
- In 2013, the ships Britannica and Hollandica were equipped each with 2 electric car charging points (3,7 kW 16A, Euro standard Type 2). However, these charging points can't be pre-booked. Charging an electric car on the ship is free of charge and takes 4-6 hours. Only on the ships Britannica and Hollandica, change machines (ATM by GWK Travelex) are available, located in the lobby area (Deck 9, opposite the Reception Desk).
- Only on the ships serving the Denmark-Norway route (Frederikshavn-Oslo), there are power connections (at a fee) for caravan fridges and freezers.
- Hand luggage restrictions per person (carried in the ship's public areas) max dimensions 60x50x40 cm and up to 12 kg. Foot passengers are allowed to bring only 2 pieces of extra luggage (up to 20 kg), checked-in on day voyages (unless there is a booked cabin). Car passengers must leave their luggage in the vehicle. Remember that car decks are closed during the voyage. Any extra baggage will be surcharged.
- All STENA ships allow boarding with LPG-fueled vehicles ("liquefied petroleum gas").
- The company doesn't allow 36-weeks pregnant women to travel, as well as 34 weeks pregnant when expecting more than one baby.
- Passengers with restricted mobility will be assisted prior departure and also onboard. Such passengers must contact the company's staff at least 48 hours prior to departure (via email or by calling +31 (0)174-315811). Wheelchair passengers must arrive at the port at least 2 hours prior to departure and go to the company's check-in desk.
- Bicycles can be ferried (at a fee) on all STENA ships and on all routes.
- Tickets with blank return date are not offered. However, it is possible to book "open ticket" with a temporary date, that can be changed later to the actual return date.
- STENA LINE's deals are categorized as "Economy", "Flexi" and "Premium". ECONOMY fares are always the cheapest, but with an amendment fee and without refund for changes and cancellations. FLEXI fares allow changes to be made to your booking at no cost. Passengers only pay the difference in fare, with the option of a full refund for canceling. PREMIUM fares (depending on routes) offer different bonus perks, such as express boarding and disembarkation, Stena Plus Lounge seats, included Breakfast. PREMIUM deals are not available on the routes Sassnitz / Rostock-Trelleborg, Grenaa-Varberg, Nynashamn-Ventspils (Latvia), and Travemunde-Liepaja (Latvia). PREMIUM fares on the route Hook of Holland-Harwich are inclusive of Stena Plus Lounge seat and Breakfast (on night voyages only).
Pets on the ship
Pets (dogs, cats, and ferrets) can be ferried on all STENA ships, but some requirements depend on the itinerary (destination).
- Pets are not allowed in passenger cabins unless the stateroom is "pet-friendly" (usually a 2-bed dog's cabin).
- All ships have a dog toilet.
- At all times during the voyage, dogs must be leashed and muzzled, and never left alone.
- Guide dogs travel for free and are allowed on all passenger decks and in the owners' cabin (but must wear a harness or jacket).
- On STENA ferries serving Scandinavian routes (to Sweden, Norway, Latvia) must have valid EU pet passport with standard information about the animal's identity, vaccinations (other treatments). Pets also must have approved microchip (or tattoo) and rabies vaccination by an authorized veterinarian. Pets traveling to Norway must be treated for tapeworm. Passengers with pets must arrive at the port at least 1 hour prior to departure.
- On STENA ferries to England and Ireland, passengers with pets must arrive at the port at least 2 hours prior departure. For all other routes, this time is 1 - 1,5 hours. All animals are subject to the UK Pet Travel scheme rules and must be at least 15 weeks old. EU pet passport and microchips are required. Car passengers can ferry up to 5 animals (per vehicle). These cars receive a colored hanger (placed on the windscreen rear-view mirror until customs are cleared in each port). Pets in vehicles must remain inside at all times. Foot passengers are allowed up to 5 pets, but the pre-booking onboard kennel is required. Children traveling with an animal must be 16 years old. When traveling with 6 or more animals, they must be at least 6 months old.
- All STENA ships have onboard kennels, of which 7 big (100x97x94 cm), 2x medium-sized (100x64x108 cm) and 16 small (100x65x50 cm). All cabins provide TV monitoring of the kennels. Visits of the pet during the voyage are recommended.
Car decks (1 to 5) can be loaded on 2 levels with vehicle access from both bow and stern. Deck 1 has capacity 39 cars, Deck 2 - 43 cars, Deck 3 is the ship's main (largest) vehicle deck with capacity 52 standard trailers. Deck 5 (Upper Vehicle Deck) has 4 lanes and capacity 58 trailers (of which 30 with free height 5 m / 16,4 ft). Lower car decks (1 and 2) are rarely used as cars are normally stored on the upper vehicle decks along with trucks.
Follows a list of car decks related safety procedures:
- Disabled passengers or those requiring specific assistance should visit the ship's Information Desk (open 24-hours).
- Apply handbrake and place the vehicle in park or 1st gear position. Switch off the ignition, alarm, electrical equipment, headlights. Gas cylinders, if any, must be switched off. Lock the vehicle.
- From your vehicle take only valuables and essential hand baggage.
- Make a note of your vehicle's location and garage deck number/stairway before leaving the car deck.
- Access to the ship's vehicle (cargo) decks during the voyage is prohibited.
- Smoking on vehicle decks, as well as in cabins and passenger lounges is forbidden.
- Wait for the onboard announcement before returning to your vehicle.
- In order to avoid air pollution, don't start the engine until instructed.
The shipowner Stena Line (founded in 1962, headquartered in Gothenburg, Sweden) is one of the world's largest ferry companies, providing freight and travel services on the Northern Europe's routes that connect UK, Ireland, Denmark, Germany, Latvia, Holland, Norway, Sweden, Poland. Stena Line current fleet includes the ships Mecklenburg Vorpommern, Scottish Viking, Adventurer, Baltica, Britannica, EFlexer (Estrid, Edda), Europe, Flavia, Germanica, Hollandica, Horizon, Jutlandica, Lagan, Mersey, Nautica, Saga, Scandinavica, Skane, Spirit, Superfast 7, Superfast 8, Superfast 10, Vision.
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The vessel is the second in a series of all 4 RoPax ferries with ice-strengthened hulls (class "1A Super") built for SUPERFAST FERRIES company's Baltic Sea services. The ship was ordered in 1998, launched in November 2000 and delivered in July 2001. It started operations for SUPERFAST FERRIES (Attica Group's subsidiary company) on July 15, 2001 (maiden voyage) on the Finland-Germany route Hanko-Rostock. In 2006, the ship was acquired by TALLINK-SILJA, starting operations in April on the route Hanko-Rostock. In January 2007, the service was changed to Tallinn (Estonia)-Helsinki (Finland)-Rostock.
Superfast 8 and the sister-ship Superfast 7 were both chartered by STENA LINE in 2011. Following an extensive drydock refit at Remontowa Shipyard (Gdansk Poland) the ships were launched on November 21, 2011, on the current Ireland-Scotland route. The new service was part of STENA LINE's EUR 200 million investment project that included building a new ferry port terminal at Cairnryan and major conversions of both newly-chartered Superfast ferries (7 and 8). Both ships were acquired (purchased) by STENA LINE from TALLINK (for EUR 133,5 million total) and delivered on December 14, 2017.
Ship's conversion (done at Remontowa Shipyard) cost around EUR 14 million and included expanded upper vehicle deck free height (to 5 m), adding a 3rd bow thruster (for better maneuverability), increased passenger capacity (from 626 to 1200), Deck 8 was converted from cabin to public deck (with lounges, bars, cinema), On Deck 7 (lobby deck) were added Taste Restaurant, Metropolitan Bar, kids play area, video games arcade). Deck 9 was converted to crew cabins deck, On Deck 10 were added Pure Nordic Spa and spacious sundeck area.
The ship is powered by four SULZER marine diesel engines (model NSD 16ZAV40S, combined output 46 MW) and three MAN diesel generators (model 8L28/32H, total power 5,54 MW). The propulsion system consists of two controllable pitch propellers (by KaMeWa-Rolls-Royce), three bow thrusters (KaMeWa, combined power 2,78 MW) and one stern thruster (KaMeWa, 1,35 MW).
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