MS Stena Superfast X

MS Stena Superfast X is a fast ropax ferry in service between Holyhead in the UK and Dublin in Ireland for Stena Line. She replaced Stena Nordica on the route in March 2015. The ferry was refurbished in Gdańsk, Poland for her new service and was returned to her original design before her SeaFrance career and looks identical to her sisters Stena Superfast VII & VIII. Before November 2014 she operated between Dover and Calais for DFDS Seaways France and between 2008 and 2012 for SeaFrance.

SeaFrance Moliere at sea
History
Name:
  • 2002–07: Superfast X
  • 2007–08: Jean Nicoli
  • 2008–12: SeaFrance Molière
  • 2012: Molière
  • 2012–14: Dieppe Seaways
  • 2014–present: Stena Superfast X
Owner:
Operator:
Port of registry:
Route:
  • Dover–Calais (Until November 2014)
  • Holyhead–Dublin (From March 2015)
Builder: Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft, Kiel, Germany
Yard number: 360[2]
Launched: 18 November 2000[2]
Christened: 26 February 2002 by Patricia Lederer[2]
Acquired: 26 February 2002[2]
In service: 27 February 2002[2]
Identification:
Status: In Service
General characteristics (as Superfast X)[2]
Class and type: Superfast VII class fast ropax ferry
Tonnage:
Length: 203.30 m (667 ft)
Beam: 25.00 m (82 ft)
Draught: 6.50 m (21 ft 4 in)
Ice class: 1 A Super[4]
Installed power:
Propulsion: 2 propellers[5]
Speed: 30.4 kn (56.30 km/h)[6]
Capacity:
  • 626 passengers (728 after 2004 refit)
  • 653 cars
  • 1,891 lane meters
General characteristics (as SeaFrance Molière)[5]
Tonnage: 30,285 GT
Decks: 10
Speed: 28.4 kn (52.60 km/h)
Capacity:
  • 1,200 passengers
  • 660 cars
  • 1,900 lane meters
Notes: Otherwise the same as above

Concept and construction

Stena Superfast X was the last ship in a series of four identical ice classed fast ferries built by HDW for Superfast Ferries' new Baltic Sea services. She was launched on 18 November 2000,[2] on the same date as her sisters Superfast VII[7] and Superfast IX[8] Stena Superfast X was delivered to her owners on 26 February 2002 and christened on the same date by Patricia Lederer, wife of the HDW project director for the Superfast ships.[2][9]

Service history

Superfast X entered service for Superfast Ferries on 27 February 2002 on the HankoRostock route. She remained on that route until 19 April 2002, when she was laid up in Kiel at HDW. On 17 May 2002, she re-entered service, on the Rosyth–Zeebrugge route. In January and February 2004, Superfast X was rebuilt at Fosen Mekaniske Verksted, Fosen, Norway with additional passenger berths.[2] On 7 August 2006, Superfast Ferries announced it had sold Superfast X to Veolia Transport for 112 million.[10] The ship was delivered to her new owners on 12 February 2007 and renamed Jean Nicoli.[2]

In March 2007, Jean Nicoli made crossings from Le Havre to Marseille, carrying cars on board. During April the same year, she was chartered to COTUNAV for traffic from Italy and France to Tunisia. At the end of April she was laid up, initially at La Seyne, later at Marseille. From 8 September until 2 October 2007 she was chartered to ANEK Lines for service on its PatrasCorfuIgoumenitsaVenice route.[2] On 27 December 2007, the ship was sold to SeaFrance.[2]

In the beginning of April 2008, Jean Nicoli was delivered to SeaFrance and renamed SeaFrance Molière. On 3 April 2008, she left Marseille for Arno Dunkerque for rebuilding into a short distance ferry.[2][5][11] After transfer to the leasing company Sarl Poquelin Bail, she entered service with SeaFrance in freight only operation on 19 August 2008 and began passenger service on 1 September 2008.[2][12]

Due to the commercial court ordering that Seafrance be liquidated, from 16 November 2011 the ship was laid up, initially at Dunkerque and then, following its sale to Scapino Shipping Ltd, at Tilbury in England.

In October 2012, DFDS chartered the ship to be used on its Dover–Dunkerque crossing.[13] During a short refit by Arno at Dunkerque she was renamed Dieppe Seaways and returned to the French registry. She re-entered service on 7 November though, following a change of plan, on the Dover-Calais route.[14]

On 1 May 2014, Dieppe Seaways suffered a fire from an overheated boiler in the engine room as she approached Dover from Calais. All 316 passengers disembarked safely on arrival. However, in responding to the fire, seven crew members and three firefighters were injured with flash burns.[15][16]

At the end of her charter to DFDS Seaways in November 2014, Stena Line took possession of the vessel returning her to her original name, albeit with a Stena prefix, and sending her for an extensive refit to return the cargo arrangements to their original configuration and refurbish the interiors similar to sisterships Stena Superfast VII and Stena Superfast VIII operating on the Cairnryan (Loch Ryan) to Belfast route.[1] After refit the ship replaced MS Stena Nordica (which itself is being chartered to DFDS Seaways to take up the timetable Stena Superfast X previous operated) on the Holyhead–Dublin Port route on 9 March 2015.[17] Stena Superfast X substantially increased the freight and passenger capacity on the route and coincided with the withdrawal of the Stena HSS service to Dún Laoghaire.[18]

References

  1. http://www.cruiseandferry.net/articles/stena-contracts-macgregor#.VNKmKC7s5Zo
  2. Asklander, Micke. "M/S Superfast X (2002)". Fakta om Fartyg (in Swedish). Retrieved 30 July 2012.
  3. "Mv Superfast X / Jean Nicoli / Seafrance Moliere". Dover Ferry Photos. Archived from the original on 10 March 2008. Retrieved 28 September 2008.
  4. "SeaFrance Moliere (27604)". DNV GL Vessel Register. Det Norske Veritas. Retrieved 29 August 2008.
  5. "New Ship 2008". SeaFrance. SeaFrance. Retrieved 10 April 2008.
  6. Asklander, Micke. "M/S Superfast VII (2001)". Fakta om Fartyg (in Swedish). Retrieved 10 April 2008.
  7. Asklander, Micke. "M/S Superfast IX (2002)". Fakta om Fartyg (in Swedish). Retrieved 10 April 2008.
  8. "Newly-delivered SUPERFAST X to join SUPERFAST IX on Germany-Sweden route". Superfast Ferries. 26 February 2002. Archived from the original on 3 February 2013. Retrieved 26 November 2012.
  9. "Announcement—Sale of Superfast X". Superfast Ferries press release. Superfast Ferries. 7 August 2006. Retrieved 10 April 2008.
  10. Davies, Phil (28 March 2008). "SeaFrance acquires third modern ferry". TravelMole. Retrieved 10 April 2008.
  11. "SeaFrance Molière presentation". SeaFrance. SeaFrance. Retrieved 28 September 2008.
  12. "DFDS Seaways strengthens Channel Service". DFDS Seaways. 24 October 2012. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
  13. "DFDS Seaways Confirms DIEPPE SEAWAYS is to Start on Calais Route". DFDS Seaways. 2 November 2012. Archived from the original on 29 May 2014. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
  14. Chessum, Victoria (1 May 2014). "Ten people hurt in a blaze on DFDS Dieppe Seaways at Dover Eastern Docks". KM Kent Online. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  15. Hayes, Phil (1 May 2014). "Fire breaks out on DFDS ferry at Port of Dover". Dover Express. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  16. http://www.stenaline.co.uk/routes/holyhead-dublin
  17. http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/stena-line-fast-ferry-service-8578256
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