Stena Line

ISBN (identifier) Gothenburg Denmark

Stena Line
FounderSten A. Olsson
HeadquartersGothenburg, Sweden
Key people
Carl-Johan Hagman (MD & CEO)
ProductsFerries, port services, passenger transportation, freight transportation, holidays, business travel
RevenueGreen Arrow Up.svg 5.0 billion SEK (2015)
Number of employees
5,000 (2015)
ParentStena AB Edit this on Wikidata
A miniature model of the Stena Line ferry on display at Madurodam miniature park, the Netherlands.

Stena Line is one of the largest ferry operators in the world. It services Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Latvia, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden and the United Kingdom, Stena Line is a major unit of Stena AB, itself a part of the Stena Sphere. Stena Line also owns the Swedish vessels[specify] of the otherwise German- and Danish-owned Scandlines.


Stena Line was founded in 1962 by Sten A. Olsson in Gothenburg, Sweden, which still serves as the company's headquarters, when he acquired Skagenlinjen between Gothenburg and Fredrikshavn, Denmark.

In 1972, Stena Line was one of the first ferry operators in Europe to introduce a computer-based reservation system for the travel business area. In 1978, the freight business area also started operating a computer-based reservation system.

The first freight-focused route[1] started between Gothenburg, Sweden, and Kiel, Germany. The ship was the MS Stena Transporter.

During the 1980s, Stena acquired three other ferry companies. In 1981, Sessan Line, Stena's biggest competitor on Sweden–Denmark routes, was acquired and incorporated into Stena Line.[2] This included Sessan's two large newbuilds, Kronprinsessan Victoria and Prinsessan Birgitta, which became the largest ships operated by Stena by that date. In 1983, Stena acquired Varberg-Grenå Linjen, and two years later also the right to that company's former name, Lion Ferry. Lion Ferry continued as a separate marketing company until 1997, when it was incorporated into Stena Line.[3] In 1989, Stena acquired yet another ferry company, Stoomvaart Maatschappij Zeeland (SMZ) (which at the time traded under the name Crown Line). SMZ's Hoek van HollandHarwich route then became a part of Stena Line.[4]

Stena Line doubled in size in 1990 with the acquisition of Sealink British Ferries from Sea Containers. This first became Sealink Stena Line, then Stena Sealink Line and finally Stena Line (UK), which now operates all of Stena's ferry services between Great Britain and Ireland.

Stena Jutlandica in Gothenburg

In 1996, Stena Line introduced its 20,000 tonne HSS (High-speed Sea Service) vessels, which operated from Belfast to Stranraer, Holyhead to Dún Laoghaire and Hoek van Holland to Harwich. In addition to the three 1,500-passenger HSS vessels, Stena Line ordered two smaller 900-passenger HSS vessels to operate on the GothenburgFrederikshavn route. Due to the bankruptcy of the shipyard, only the first of these vessels was ever completed.

In 1998, Stena's operations from Dover and Newhaven were merged with P&O European Ferries to form P&O Stena Line, 40% of which was owned by Stena and 60% by P&O. In 2002, P&O acquired all of Stena's shares in the company, thus becoming the sole owner of P&O Stena Line, which soon changed its name to P&O Ferries.

In 2000, Stena Line purchased yet another Scandinavian ferry operator: Scandlines AB.

In November 2006, Stena ordered a pair of "super ferries" with a gross tonnage of 62,000 from Aker Yards, Germany for delivery in 2010, with an option for two more ships of the same design.[5] The new ferries will be amongst the largest in the world,[6] to be operated on Stena's North Sea route from Hoek van Holland to Harwich. The existing ships from the North Sea were to be moved to the Kiel–Gothenborg route, whereas the ships from Kiel would transfer to the Gdynia to Karlskrona route. The new ferries were launched in 2010, with Stena Hollandica entering service on 16 May 2010, and Stena Britannica planned to enter service in the autumn of 2010.[7]

The company also moved its Belfast Terminal from Albert Quay to the new VT4 during May 2008. This has reduced the length of the crossing to Stranraer by ten minutes.

In July 2009, Stena Line announced that it had repurchased its former ship, Stena Parisien, from SeaFrance. The ship is now known as Stena Navigator. She had a comprehensive refit. Following on from this, the ship was introduced on the Stranraer to Belfast route, alongside HSS Stena Voyager and Stena Caledonia.

A joint venture with Hyundai Glovis has been announced and approved by the European Commission in February 2019, for the implementation of a new cooperative short sea intra-European waters service in between the two carriers, for the sea transport of transhipment cargo originating from South Korea.[8]

On 14 March 2020, due to the Coronavirus outbreak, the company suspended operations between Oslo and Frederikshavn temporarily until further notice due to travel restrictions in Denmark and Norway, the routes sole ship the MS Stena Saga was sent to Gothenburg where she arrived on 16 March 2020 where the company later confirmed it would be making 950 redundancies in Sweden as a result of Coronavirus. The company then later announced on 19 March 2020 that it was going to permanently suspend and close operations on the Oslo-Frederikshavn service due to the lack of profitability, where Stena announced that due to Coronavirus it was unlikely able to see it turn a profit during the whole year when the service is totally dependent on the summer season. The future of Stena Saga remains uncertain and remained laid up in Gothenburg.

Irish Sea expansion

In December 2010, Stena Line announced it had acquired the Northern Irish operations of DFDS Seaways. The sale includes the Belfast to Heysham & Birkenhead routes, two vessels from the Heysham route (Scotia Seaways & Hibernia Seaways) and two chartered vessels from the Birkenhead route (Mersey Seaways & Lagan Seaways).[9] The Fleetwood to Larne route ended on 24 December 2010.

On 26 February 2014 it was announced that Stena Line would acquire the Celtic Link ferry service from Rosslare to Cherbourg, France.[10]

Change on the Irish Sea

On 21 November 2011, Stena Line introduced the Stena Superfast VII and Stena Superfast VIII to replace the Stena Navigator and Stena Caledonia. It was announced that the Stena Voyager would be removed from service on 20 November 2011. It was later sold to Stena Recycling and sent for scrapping in May 2013.


Stena Line route map (Dún Laoghaire – Holyhead route has been discontinued)

Irish Sea

North Sea

Scandinavia, Poland and Germany


Current ships

Name Built Gross Tonnage Passengers Notes Images
Stena Estrid 2019 40,500 927 The first E-Flexer Class ship for Stena Line
Stena Edda 2019 41,671 927 The second E-Flexer Class ship for Stena Line Stena Edda at Birkenhead, 202003.jpg
Stena Adventurer 2003 43,532 1,500 Stena Adventurer.jpg
Stena Baltica 2007 22,542 200 Gdynia Stena Baltica 1.jpg
Stena Britannica 2010 63,039 1,200 MS Stena Britannica 2012-10-10 001.jpg
Stena Danica 1983 15,899 2,300 Stena Danica.jpg
Stena Europe 1981 24,828 1,400 Stena Europe Strapline.jpg
Stena Flavia 2008 26,904 830 Stena flavia 2015 Baltic sea.JPG
Stena Germanica 2001 51,837 [11] 1,300 GS001962.jpg
Stena Hibernia 1996 13,017 12 StenaHiberniaPIC.jpg
Stena Hollandica 2010 63,039 1,200 Stena hollandica harwich.jpg
Stena Horizon 2006 27,552 972 Stena Horizon approaching Rosslare harbour.jpg
Stena Jutlandica 1996 29,691 1,500 Stena Jutlandica5001.jpg
Stena Lagan 2005 26,500 980 STENALAGAN.jpg
Stena Mersey 2005 26,500 980 Stena Mersey, River Mersey (geograph 4593080).jpg
Stena Nautica 1986 11,763 663 Stena Nautica på väg in i Varbergs hamn.jpg
Stena Nordica 2000 24,206 405 Stena Nordica.jpg
Stena Saga 1981 25,905 2,000 MS Stena Saga 2014-09-25 001.jpg
Stena Scandinavica 2003 55,050 900 Stena Scandinavica 2015-06-15 001.jpg
Stena Scotia 1996 13,600 12 Stena Scotia, 07.02.2016.jpg
Stena Spirit 1988 39,193 1,700 Stena Spirit 2011-08-05 001.jpg
Stena Superfast VII 2001 30,285 1,200 Dec'17: Stena took ownership from Tallink MS Superfast VII, Neste Oilin edustalla matkalla Naantaliin Turun Korjaustelakalle, 14.5.2008.JPG
Stena Superfast VIII 2001 30,285 1,200 Dec'17: Stena took ownership from Tallink Stena Superfast VIII.jpg
Stena Transit 2011 33,690 300 STENA TRANSIT (37033287692).jpg
Stena Transporter 2011 33,690 300 Stena Transporter (12885293065).jpg
Stena Vision 1981 39,178 1,700 Stena vision.jpg
Sassnitz 1989 20,276 900 MS Sassnitz 2013-03--27 001.jpg
Skane 1998 28,960 600 Skåne leaving Rostock II.jpg
Somerset (formerly Spaarneborg) 1999 12 Spaarneborg (1).JPG
Stena Vinga 2005 400 Stena Vinga.jpg
Urd 1981 110,30 186 Scandlines Fährschiff Urd (IMO 7826855) in Rostock (01-2).jpg
Scottish Viking 2008 26,904 830 MS Scottish Viking 2013-07-18 001.jpg
Stena Forerunner 2003 12 Stena Forerunner (ship, 2003) IMO 9227259 at the Calandkanaal pic3.JPG
Mecklenburg-Vorpommen 1996 37,987 600 Ferry Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.jpg
Stena Forecaster 2003 12 Stena Forecaster.JPG
Stena Gothica (formerly Ask) 1982 13,294 186 Stena Gothica Vid Majnabbeterminalen.jpg

Future fleet

Stena has five vessels of the E-Flexer class on order, with the first scheduled for delivery in early 2020.[12][13] The first ship of the new series was named Stena Estrid. After her trials, she has commenced service on 13 January 2020, on the route Dublin - Holyhead.


See also



  1. ^ Chiefly a freight route. However passengers and cars are transported
  2. ^ "Sessan Linjen" (in Swedish). Fakta om Fartyg. Archived from the original on 1 August 2012. Retrieved 21 September 2007.
  3. ^ "Lion Ferry" (in Swedish). Fakta om Fartyg. Archived from the original on 29 July 2012. Retrieved 21 September 2007.
  4. ^ "Stoomvaart Maatschappij Zeeland" (in Swedish). Fakta om Fartyg. Archived from the original on 31 July 2012. Retrieved 21 September 2007.
  5. ^ "Press release 9. 11. 2006". Aker Yards. Retrieved 21 September 2007.
  6. ^ "Stena Line announces major investment in innovative ferries". Stena Line press release. Retrieved 21 September 2007.
  7. ^ "'Superferry' in maiden Harwich crossing". BBC News. 16 May 2010. Retrieved 16 May 2010.[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ "EU gives green light to Stena Hyundai Glovis joint-venture". World maritime News. 5 February 2019. Retrieved 12 August 2019.
  9. ^ "DFDS sells Irish Sea ferry routes". DFDS A/S. Retrieved 3 December 2010.
  10. ^ "Stena Line buys Celtic Link ferry service". RTÉ News. 26 February 2014. Retrieved 27 February 2014.
  11. ^ "Stena Line – Our ships". Retrieved 12 August 2013.
  12. ^ "Stena's new formula for ro-pax market". The Motorship. 14 June 2018. Retrieved 16 September 2018.
  13. ^ "Stena Lifts Options for Two More E-Flexer Ships". World Maritime News. 18 July 2018. Retrieved 16 September 2018.