VESSEL REVIEW | Stena Estelle – Large Ro-Pax to serve Baltic Sea route between Sweden and Poland

Photo: MarineTraffic.com/Piotr Góra
Photo: MarineTraffic.com/Piotr Góra

Swedish operator Stena Line recently took delivery of a new Ro-Pax ferry built by China Merchants Jinling Shipyard Weihai.

Named Stena Estelle in honour of the granddaughter of Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf, the Danish-flagged newbuild has an LOA of 240 metres, a beam of 28 metres, a draught of 5.7 metres, a gross tonnage of 45,000, and capacity for 1,200 passengers and 3,600 lane metres of freight.

The vehicles are housed in two full-length garage decks and in a smaller garage in the lower hull while one deck is allotted exclusively for passengers. Another two decks are classified as mixed use decks.

<em>Photo: MarineTraffic.com/Piotr Góra</em>
Photo: MarineTraffic.com/Piotr Góra

Although belonging to the E-Flexer-class of Ro-Pax ferries designed by Stena RoRo and Finland's Deltamarin, both Stena Estelle and near-identical sister Stena Ebba are 36 metres longer than their three earlier Stena-operated "standard" E-Flexer sisters to allow for increases in passenger and vehicle capacities – 30 per cent and 15 per cent greater capacities, respectively – and ensure more spacious interiors.

Two Caterpillar-MaK M43C engines that each produce 12,600 kW propel the ferry to a top speed of 22 knots. The engines may be configured in the future to run on either methanol or LNG as an alternative to diesel. Stena Line claims the optimum design of the ferry's hull, propellers, bulbous bow, and rudders makes it up to 30 per cent more energy efficient compared to earlier ships in the company's fleet.

Stena Line said the vessel boasts a modern Swedish-inspired design. The passengers are housed in 263 cabins, which also include staterooms with wheelchair- and pet-friendly features. Other onboard amenities include a restaurant, a cafe, a bar, lounges, a retail shop, a casino game area, and a children's play area. One lounge also has a cinema and TV area while another is fitted with reclining seats. Some of the passenger areas are fitted with panoramic glass windows.

Stena Estelle has already begun operating in the Baltic Sea on Stena Line's Gdynia-Karlskrona route. This same route will be served by Stena Ebba starting in December of this year.

<em>Photo: MarineTraffic.com/Daniel Hakkarainen</em>
Photo: MarineTraffic.com/Daniel Hakkarainen
Stena Estelle
SPECIFICATIONS
Type of vessel:Ro-Pax ferry
Flag:Denmark
Owner:Stena RoRo, Sweden
Operator:Stena Line, Sweden
Designers:Stena RoRo, Sweden; Deltamarin, Finland
Builder:China Merchants Jinling Shipyard Weihai, China
Length overall:240 metres
Beam:28 metres
Draught:5.7 metres
Gross tonnage:45,000
Capacity:3,600 lane metres
Main engines:2 x Caterpillar-MaK M43C, each 12,600 kW
Maximum speed:22 knots
Type of fuel:Diesel
Accommodation:263 x cabins; restaurant; café; bar; lounges; retail shop; game area; children's play area
Passengers:1,200
Operational area:Baltic Sea

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