Ferry operators Stena has unveiled its “Superfast X” vessel, ahead of its debut sailing from Wales to Ireland.
The ferry, which will sail from Holyhead to Dublin Port for the first time next week, has left the Polish shipyard in Gdynia where staff have been working round the clock to get the vessel ready for launch.
The launch of the service comes just weeks after the ferry operator scrapped a fast ferry service between Anglesey and Dun Laoghaire.
The ferry will have 10 decks, carry up to 1,200 passengers, and offer almost 2km of “lane space” for vehicles and freight traffic.
Its facilities will include cabins, a cafe, bar and grill, a shop, two free cinemas and a family lounge featuring a play area and Xbox stations.
Ian Davies, Stena Line’s route manager for Irish Sea South, said: “Providing additional capacity and facilities to expand our Holyhead-Dublin route with the introduction of Stena Superfast X is an important strategic development for Stena Line on the Irish Sea at this time.
“Our freight and travel customers will now be able to benefit from an enhanced service on this key trade and tourism gateway at a time when commercial and leisure traffic between Ireland and Britain are both showing really encouraging signs of future growth.
“By introducing a much larger ship onto the route, we are demonstrating our confidence and commitment to driving forward the economies on both sides of the Irish Sea.
“In the last five years alone Stena Line has invested over £250m across its Irish Sea operations and we are confident that the improving economic climate in Ireland and Britain will show that this significant resource commitment has been extremely well timed.”
The Stena Superfast X will make two return sailings daily between Holyhead and Dublin, completing the crossing in three hours and 15 minutes. Superfast X will operating alongside the Stena Adventurer, providing Stena Line customers with a choice of up 28 return sailings per week all year round on the route.