Opinion: Stena Line expands further

Last week Stena Line announced a deal to buy the Celtic Link ferry service which operates on the Rosslare to Cherbourg route.

By Stewart Thompson of FreightLink Solutions.

Irish-owned Celtic Link currently provide a weekly service between Ireland and France operated by the MV Celtic Horizon, which has capacity for 1000 passengers, 200 cars and 120 freight vehicles. This newest potential acquisition follows further expansion from Stena Line despite the Irish Sea Routes not being economically viable following the closure of the Fleetwood port several years ago.

However, Stena Line’s route manager for the South Irish Sea, Ian Davies, said: “The acquisition of the Rosslare-Cherbourg route is a key strategic investment for Stena Line. With confidence in the Irish economy strengthening, we see positive long term growth in tourist and freight traffic from the Continent as a real opportunity to help strengthen this economic growth further."

Michael McGrath, Stena Line’s chief operating officer added: “This exciting investment represents an important milestone for Stena Line as for the first time in our history we will be able to offer a direct ferry link between the Republic of Ireland and the Continent." This doesn't directly effect Lancashire negatively of course, as Stena does have a presence over at Heysham and still provides ferries from there to Ireland - it's just a shame that despite the growth in Liverpool and Manchester these past three years that still this part of England is not seen favourably by the larger ferry operators. However, many will see this as positive reinvestment from Stenaline.