The second HSS vessel, Stena Voyager, entered service between Belfast and Stranraer on 21 July 1996. In March 1997 she operated between Holyhead and Dun Laoghaire while the Stena Explorer received her first annual overhaul.
In service between Belfast - Stranraer she was advertised to complete an 85 minute crossing. Due to coastal factors and implications from harbour authorities this was adjusted to 105 minutes. Whilst the majority of her career was spent on the route, she did occasionally cover for her sister ships. From the 22nd of January until the 4th of April 1998 she covered on the Harwich - Hook of Holland route for the Stena Discovery, then returning to Belfast service on 28th April 1998.
During October 2007 a fire was discovered onboard in one of the Stena Voyager's engine rooms. 601 passengers were onboard at the time of the incident. Life jackets were issued however the craft made its way to Belfast safely with no injuries. The fire was extinguished by automatic systems onboard in less than an hour. The craft was inspected and repaired in Belfast not long before returning to service again.
1996, Finnyards, Rauma
On 28th of January 2009 an articulated HGV in the Stena Voyager's cargo hold became unsecured and broke free resulting in it hanging half off the stern of the craft which also preventing the craft from berthing in Stranraer harbour after a decision was made to return.
The HSS operational costs have risen significantly since the 1990s, to the point of being 'unsustainable'. A barrel of oil costed a mere $18, meaning the cost of running the HSS could be comparable with its conventional fleetmates, but with prices reaching an excess of $130, that is out of the question.
The Stena Voyager was decommissioned from service on the 21st of November 2011 and began layup at her VT4 berth in Belfast. She and her fleet mates Stena Caledonia and Stena Navigator were made redundant after Stena's move to a new Loch Ryan Port upstream from Stranraer in favour for new, more modern conventional ferries.
By the start of 2013 final preparations were underway for the departure from Belfast of the Stena Voyager on a one-way passage to the breakers.
On 2nd May 2013 the tug tasked with taking the Stena Voyager on her final voyage arrived at Belfast. The Stena Voyager's destination is the Öresundsvarvet shipyard in Landskrona, Sweden, for recycling by Stena Line's sister company, Stena Recycling.
All of the Stena Voyager's various components will be recycled, as far as is possible and indeed many items have been removed for use in the remaining HSS in service, the Stena Explorer.
With acknowledgement to Shane Bunting.