Per Westling, Stena RoRo's managing director, accepted the vessel while seated in his Gothenburg office in the company of Brittany Ferries CEO Christophe Mathieu. In conjunction with the virtual hand-over of the third E-Flexer to Stena RoRo, GALICIA was taken on long-term bareboat charter by Brittany Ferries.
Brittany Ferries has hired a crew from Stena AB subsidiary Northern Marine to bring GALICIA home, after which the 214.5m long and 27.8m beam ro-pax ferry will switch to the French flag. On arrival in Europe following her 10,000-nautical-mile voyage, GALICIA will undergo a period of crew familiarisation and drydocking before being introduced in mid-December.
Equipped with two in-line exhaust gas scrubbers, GALICIA has a capacity of 3,100 freight lanemetres and 1,015 passengers. The deckhouses on decks 7 and 8 have been extended to further adapt the vessel for its overnight services with a total of 1,233 beds in 343 passenger cabins.
GALICIA will operate twice weekly between Portsmouth and Santander with crossing times varying between 28 and 33 hours. In addition, the vessel will make a weekly Portsmouth-Cherbourg roundtrip. Flagship PONT-AVEN and CAP FINISTERE will continue to serve the UK-Spain market, guaranteeing up to seven crossings per week operated by the three ro-paxes. Additionally, the dedicated freighter PELICAN offers twice weekly sailings between Poole and Bilbao.
Stena RoRo has six more E-Flexers on order at the CMI Jinling Weihai Shipyard: three ships, including two lengthened versions, will be operated by Stena Line, one will be long-term bareboat chartered by DFDS for Calais-Dover service, and two more – the SALAMANCA and SANTOÑA, which are due for delivery in 2022 and 2023 – will be long-term bareboat chartered by Brittany Ferries. These ships will be similar to GALICIA, yet will be LNG-powered.
© Shippax / Philippe Holthof
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