An unexpected visitor to Holyhead in February 2013 following damage to the chartered Finnarrow was the spare Belfast ro-ro Stena Scotia. Arriving at Holyhead for the first time early on the morning of 22nd February, the vessel's arrival marked the first time an Irish Sea ship bearing the name "Scotia" served the port since the loss of the mail steamer Scotia at Dunkirk in 1940.
Stena Scotia's first arrival at Holyhead. © Ronnie Roberts
Built for Norfolkline at the Japanese Miho Shipyards in 1996 as the Maersk Exporter, the ship was renamed Scotia Seaways in 2010 when DFDS Seaways acquired Norfolkline and took over all of their Irish Sea operations. Later that year, Stena Line announced it had acquired the Northern Irish operations of DFDS. The sale included the Belfast to Heysham route and its two vessels, Scotia Seaways and Hibernia Seaways. Both ships were subsequently repainted and renamed Stena Scotia and Stena Hibernia respectively. In September 2012 the two ships were replaced by the newbuilds Seatruck Precision and Seatruck Performance which were renamed Stena Precision and Stena Performance respectively. The Stena Scotia can accommodate 12 passengers and 1,562 lane metres.
Below left: Stena Scotia at Holyhead © Ronnie Roberts, right, in Belfast Lough © Scott Mackey
IMO No: 9121625
Deadweight : 5,928 Mtons
Built: 10/96 Miho Zosensho K.K.
Class: LR +100A1
Capacity: 1,562 lane metres
120 trailers of 13.6m
Access: Fixed ramp from main deck to weather deck and to lower hold.