MS Stena Superfast VIII

MS Stena Superfast VIII is a fast Ro-Pax ferry owned and operated by Stena Line between Belfast and Cairnryan. The ship was built in 2001 by Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft (HDW), Kiel, Germany for Attica Group's subsidiary Superfast Ferries. She was sold to her current owners in 2017.[1]

MS Stena Superfast VIII at Cairnryan in August 2019.
  • 2002-2011: Superfast VIII
  • 2011-present: Stena Superfast VIII
  • 2002–06: Superfast Ferries
  • 2006–11: Tallink
  • 2011 onwards: Stena Line[1]
Port of registry:
Route: BelfastCairnryan
Builder: HDW, Kiel, Germany
Yard number: 358[1][2]
Launched: 28 November 2000[1]
Acquired: 11 July 2001[1]
Maiden voyage: 15 July 2001[1]
In service: 15 July 2001[1]
Status: In service
General characteristics (as built)[1]
Class and type: Superfast VII class fast ropax ferry
Tonnage: 30,285 GT
Displacement: 5,990 t (5,900 long tons) deadweight (DWT)
Length: 203.3 m (667 ft)
Beam: 25.42 m (83 ft 5 in)
Height: 40.00 m (131.23 ft)
Draught: 6.60 m (21 ft 8 in)
Decks: 10[3]
Ice class: 1 A Super[3]
Installed power:
Speed: 30.4 kn (56.3 km/h)[3]
  • 1200 passengers
  • 661 cars
  • 1,920 lane meters
General characteristics (in Stena Service)[2]
Class and type: Superfast VII class fast ropax ferry
Length: 203.3 m (667 ft)
Beam: 25.42 m (83 ft 5 in)
Deck clearance: 4.7 m, 5.2 m on central 4 lanes of the upper vehicle deck
Installed power:
  • 4 × Wärtsilä-Sulzer NSD ZA V40S main engines producing 11,500 kW each(total 46,000 kW (62,000 shp)), coupled to 2 × 5.2 m KaMeWa propellers via 2 × Schelde dual input single output gearboxes
  • 3 × MAN B&W 8L28/32H, producing a total of 1,848 kW each @ 510 rpm
  • 2 × 5.2 m KaMeWa propellers
  • 3 × 925 kW KaMeWa bow thrusters
  • 1 × 1,350 kW stern thruster [2]
Speed: 20 kn (37.0 km/h) - 22 kn (40.7 km/h) [2]
  • 1,200 passengers
  • 661 cars or 110 trailers (or a mix of both)
Notes: Entered Stena service along with her sister Stena Superfast VII on 21 November 2011.[2]

In March 2006 Superfast sold its Baltic Sea operations to Tallink. Like her sisters, the Superfast VIII was moved from Finnish to Estonian registry, and her route changed to Hanko–Paldiski–Rostock from April 2006 onwards. The call at Paldiski proved to be impractical, and already in June of the same year the route reverted to Hanko–Rostock. Around this time the ship's hull markings were changed to "Superfast operated by Tallink". Although there were rumours that the ships would be moved under Silja Line's brand from January 2007 onwards, they were instead officially made a part of Tallink's fleet. At the same time their route changed to Tallinn–Helsinki–Rostock. Between 5 and 12 April 2007 the ship was used on the Helsinki–Tallinn route due to a delay in the delivery of the new MS Star. After this she joined her sisters in the Rostock service.

Stena Line charter

In March 2011, Stena Line announced it would be chartering the Superfast VIII and sister ship Superfast VII. The vessels now operate on crossings of the North Channel separating Ireland and Britain; between Belfast and Cairnryan, at a new facility built by Stena Line called Loch Ryan Port.[4] in February 2014, Stena renewed the charter of these ships until Autumn 2019. Stena Superfast VIII has been voted the top ship in the entire Stena Line fleet by Stena customers for both 2013 and 2014.

Conversion to day ferries[2]

Before the two sisters entered service for Stena Line, an extensive refurbishment/conversion overseen by Stena Ro-Ro and Knud E Hansen was undertaken at the Remontowa Shipyard in Gdańsk, Poland. This was rumoured at the time to have cost a total of €14M. As part of this conversion, the free height of the upper vehicle deck was raised to 5.05 m allowing Stena to carry full height freight. Both ships also received an additional bow thruster to improve manoeuvrability, taking their complement to 3 bow thrusters and 1 stern thruster. As the new port in Scotland had a TTS automated mooring system installed, the ships were also adapted to work with this by adding 3 steel bollards on the starboard side bow.


During March 2015, some areas of Stena Superfast VIII were refurbished whilst the ship was dry docked at Harland and Wolff.[2]

Other information

Stena Superfast VIII is managed by Stena Line as of September 2018, Stena Line purchased the vessel in December 2017


  1. Asklander, Micke. "M/S Superfast VIII (2001)". Fakta om Fartyg (in Swedish). Retrieved 2 April 2008.
  2. "Stena Superfast VII and Stena Superfast VIII". NI Ferry Site. 20 February 2014.
  3. "New ships for Scotland - NI service". Stena Line. 7 March 2011.
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