'Residental' Dun Laoghaire not suitable for ferry route
Dun Laoghaire's move towards a more residential existence rather than a freight transportation hub was the reason Stena Line pulled out of the town and transferred its operations to Dublin Port, the ferry company's chairman has said.
With freight companies shifting their focus towards the city, the foot and car passengers that remained loyal to Dun Laoghaire were not enough to sustain the route, he explained.
Dan Sten Olsson was in town to launch the new Stena Superfast X ferry that will now be introduced in the all-year service between Dublin and Holyhead.
The 30,000 tonne ship (inset), which accommodates up to 1,200 passengers and provides over 2km of vehicle lane capacity, was also officially named by the ship's 'Godmother' - broadcaster Kathryn Thomas.
"Over the years Dun Laoghaire was developing itself to be a residential community, and basically heavy traffic was not to be there, because of that we have, over the last ten years, developed our traffic to the port of Dublin who have been very accommodating and have increased dock space and have given us a very good berth," Mr Olsson told the Herald from aboard the new vessel.
"Over time as our traffic has grown (to Dublin Port), it has been impossible to continue Dun Laoghaire, and it was time to move," he added.
"Everybody loves the HSS but it is a very peculiar unit and we could only run it in the summer when we had the volumes, but with oil being as expensive as it is nobody really wanted to pay the extra cost any more and so this is a more effective ship," Mr Olsson said.
Stena Superfast X will make two return sailings daily between Dublin and Holyhead and will operate alongside the Stena Adventurer to provide a choice of up to 56 Stena Line sailings per week on the route.
The journey time on the Stena Superfast is three hours and fifteen minutes with the four-engine vessel pumping out 60,000 horsepower.
"Today's introduction of the Stena Superfast X is a further commitment by Stena Line to the important Dublin-Holyhead route which is responsible for more than one fifth of Dublin Port's freight volumes and virtually all of our passenger business," said Eamonn O'Reilly, Chief Executive of Dublin Port.