The Rotary Club of Girvan were very fortunate recently to be given a private tour of the Stena Superfast Ferry that plies its trade between Cairnryan and Belfast.
The Stena Superfast VII is the largest, most luxurious ferry in Scotland, with a crossing time of approximately 2 hours 15 minutes and 12 sailings per day on the Belfast to Cairnryan route.
The Rotary Group made their way to Cairnryan by car and were met by the ship’s captain , Captain Alistair McCarlie, who took them to the bridge .
There he showed the club the marvellous technology that enables the boat to travel and dock with the greatest of safety. The ship docking positioning equipment is probably the most precise and professional in the industry.
This ship was extensively refurbished before it came into service on this Irish Sea route.
The work was undertaken by Knud E Hansen at the Remontowa Shipyard in Gdansk, Poland. As part of this conversion, the free height of the upper vehicle deck was raised to 5.05m allowing Stena to carry full height freight.
The ships also received an additional bow thruster to improve manoeuvrability, taking their complement to three bow thrusters and one stern thruster.
As the new port at Cairnryan had a TTS automated mooring system installed, the ships were also adapted to work with this by adding three steel bollards on the starboard side bow.
The group were then shown round the rest of the ship by the Onboard Services Manager Mr Gordon Irons.
They were surprised that the ship had cabins and that they are well equipped and well used.
Each suite accommodates up to five persons and features: Double bed, Ensuite with shower and toilet, Towels and shower gel, TV, Tea/Coffee making facilities, Fridge with bottled water, Comfortable seating, Desk area, Free Wi-Fi access •
The Ship has many levels but Mr Irons explained that Deck 8 was converted from cabins to a public deck and contains a Truckers lounge, cinema, pod lounge, living room, news room, magazine lounge, barista coffee bar, and Stena Plus lounge in place of the 128 cabins which where removed.
The majority of deck 7 is now occupied by the Taste restaurant and the Met Bar (which has slightly raised flooring at the front of its lounge in order to accommodate the extra height required by the car deck below) with guest services, children’s play area, Stena shopping, and a video game arcade occupying the remaining space.
Deck 9 is inaccessible to the public and is totally given over to crew accommodation. The remaining deck accessible to the public is deck 10. This contains The Pure Nordic Spa, the Superfast Suites, and an extensive outside sun deck. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the vessel.
Members agreed this was a great trip for Girvan Rotary and a wonderful vessel.
After such an interesting tour the group had to rush to leave the ship as it was once again on its way to Belfast. – They stepped off and it was away. Our thanks to Stena and its crew.