HSC HSS Discovery

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Stena Discovery in Curacao
Stena Discovery laid up in tropical waters at Curacao
Name: 1997–2009: Stena Discovery
2009 onwards: HSS 'Discovery
Operator: 1997–2009: Stena Line
2009 onwards: Albamar Shipping Company
Port of registry: 1997–2009: Hoek van Holland Netherlands
2009 onwards: Nassau The Bahamas
Builder: Finnyards, Finland
Cost: £65,000,000
Yard number: 406
Launched: December 1996
In service: April 1997
Identification: IMO number: 9107590
Status: Laid up in Curacao (Caribbean)
General characteristics
Class & type: HSS 1500
Developed by: Stena Rederi AB
Tonnage: 19,638 GT[1]
Length: 120.6 m (395 ft 8 in)
Beam: 40.0 m (131 ft 3 in)
Draught: 4.8 m (15 ft 9 in)
Installed power: COGAG Turbines:
GE LM2500
2× GE LM1600
Propulsion: Kamewa Type S Waterjets
Speed: 40 knots[1]
Capacity: 1,500 passengers
375 cars
800 lane metres

HSS Discovery is a high-speed ferry owned by Albamar Shipping Company. It is a member of the HSS 1500 class of high-speed ferries built for and designed by Stena Line from 1996 onwards. The vessel was previously named Stena Discovery and operated for Stena Line between Harwich International Port, in the United Kingdom and Hoek van Holland, in The Netherlands.

Design and construction[edit]

The HSS Discovery was constructed by Finnyards in Rauma, Finland. Construction commenced in 1996 and the vessel entered service in April 1997.[1]

The vessel is a catamaran, and was designed with the aim of providing a comfortable and fast service.[2]

Power is provided by four GE Aviation gas turbines in a twin combined gas and gas (COGAG) configuration.[3] The vessel employs four KaMeWa waterjets for propulsion.[4]

The HSS class of ferries were designed to allow quick turnarounds at port. A specially designed linkspan provides ropeless mooring and allows quick loading, unloading and servicing. Vehicles are loaded via two of the four stern doors and park in a "U" configuration. When disembarking, vehicles drive straight off via the other three doors.[4]


As the Stena Discovery, the vessel operated between Harwich and Hoek van Holland for Stena Line from its introduction in 1997 until January 2007 when it was taken out of service due to its high fuel consumption. The vessel was laid up at Belfast between January 2007 and September 2009, before departing for La Guaira, Venezuela under the ownership of Albamar Shipping Company. Prior to its departure from Belfast, the "Stena" prefix was removed from the vessel's name.[1][5]

It served only shortly in Venezuela and was put out of service again in 2009. In November 2011, it was moved to the caribbean island of Curacao in an attempt to attract investors for a new ferry service from Curacao to La Guaira.[6] It was subject to a criminal investigation shortly afterwards regarding irregulatory trade of diesel from the ballast tanks.[7] The ferry is currently laid up in Curacao's Caracas Bay.


  • In January 1998, Stena Discovery was travelling at full speed, when it hit a 3.5m swell, resulting in water being pushed up over the nose and hitting the bridge windows. The swell ripped through the underside of the nose. It was later discovered that this was beyond Stena Discovery's design capability. Small air holes were fitted on the underside of the nose to prevent a repeat incident.[8]
  • In March 2001, the driver of an 18 tonne lorry (loaded with 12 tonnes of fresh fish) failed to put his vehicle's handbrake on during a crossing of the Stena Discovery from Hoek van Holland to Harwich. As the ferry accelerated, the lorry rolled back, crashed through the vessel's stern doors, and plunged into the North Sea. It took along with it three smaller vans as well as one of the stern doors . The vessel returned to Hoek van Holland and was taken out of service for repairs. Damage to the door and loss of the vehicles was estimated to be in the region of £200,000.[9]


  1. ^ a b c d "Stena Discovery" (in Swedish). Fakta Om Fartyg. Retrieved 2009-12-24. 
  2. ^ "The story behind the building of the first Stena HSS". Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company. Retrieved 2009-12-24. 
  3. ^ "GE Marine Engines' LM Gas Turbines Exceed 600,000 Hours Operating Aboard 16 Fast Ferries" (Press release). GE Aviation. 2002-09-09. Retrieved 2009-12-24. "Each semi-swath fast ferry has two LM1600 and two LM2500 gas turbines in a COmbined Gas and Gas (COGAG) turbine configuration." 
  4. ^ a b "Stena Explorer". Sealink-Holyhead. Retrieved 2009-12-24. 
  5. ^ "Stena sacrifices speed for size". International Freight Weekly. 2007-01-12. 
  6. ^ "Initiators seek investors to take over ferry". Amigoe. 2011-12-04. 
  7. ^ "Criminal investigation into disappearance of diesel from hss discovery". Dutch Caribbean Legal Portal. 2012-03-20. 
  8. ^ "Ferry News". Harwich Haven Ships and Yachts. 
  9. ^ "Lorry falls of back of ferry". Clacton Gazette. 2001-03-18. Retrieved 2009-02-03. 

External links[edit]