HSC One World Karadeniz

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Stena Explorer at Dún Laoghaire
Stena Explorer berthing in Dún Laoghaire
  • One World Karadeniz (2015-onwards)
  • Stena Explorer (1996–2015)
  • Karadeniz Holding (2015-onwards)
  • Stena Line (1996–2015)
Port of registry
BuilderFinnyards, Finland
Yard number404
Laid downJune 1994
LaunchedMay 1995
CompletedFebruary 1996
In serviceApril 1996 – September 2014
IdentificationIMO number9080194
FateSold to firm in Turkey for static use as offices, power generator and research projects.[1]
StatusMoored up in Yalova, Turkey
General characteristics
Class and typeHSS 1500
Developed by: Stena Rederi AB
Tonnage19,638 GT
Length126.6 m (415 ft 4 in)
Beam40.0 m (131 ft 3 in)
Draught4.8 m (15 ft 9 in)
Installed power
PropulsionKaMeWa Type S Waterjets
Speed40 kn
  • 1,500 passengers
  • 375 cars
  • 800 lane metres

One World Karadeniz (previously Stena Explorer) is a former high-speed ferry that operated Stena Line's HolyheadDún Laoghaire service between Great Britain and Ireland until 2014.[2] It is a member of the HSS 1500 class of high-speed ferries introduced and developed by Stena Line from 1996 onwards. The HSS 1500 class vessels became the largest catamarans in service in the world.[3]

In 2015 the ferry was owned by Karadeniz Holding to be used as a floating office, research space and alternative power generator in Karmarine shipyard in Yalova near Istanbul, Turkey, as part of the Powerships project from the company that owned the vessel.[1] However, in 2016 the vessel was on sale for as low as 6.5 Million Dollars.[4][5]

Design and construction[edit]

Stena Explorer was constructed by Finnyards in Rauma, Finland,[6][7] at a cost £65 million.[8] Construction commenced in June 1994 and was completed in February 1996,[6] before entering service in April 1996.[9]

The vessel is a catamaran, and was designed with the aim of providing a comfortable and fast service.[10] The sailing time between Holyhead and Dún Laoghaire was 99 minutes.[11]

Power is provided by four GE Aviation gas turbines in a twin combined gas and gas (COGAG) configuration.[12][13] The vessel employs four KaMeWa waterjets for propulsion.[13]

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 two doors.[14]


Stena Explorer had spent the majority of her career sailing on her original route between Holyhead and Dún Laoghaire.

Due to increasing world price of oil the Stena HSS had her crossing time extended to around 119 minutes in a bid to trim her fuel bill.[15][16] Over the years, the Stena HSS' timetable has gradually been reduced from an initial five round-trips a day, down to just one round-trip a day.

Stena Line replaced the vessel with the Stena Lynx III, which ran twice daily from 15 March 2010 to the end of 2010 apart from May to September, when the HSS Stena Explorer operated the route once daily to relieve the Stena Lynx so she could run on the Fishguard – Rosslare route.

On 26 May 2010, Stena Line re-instated the HSS back on the Holyhead – Dún Laoghaire route one month earlier than planned.[17][18]

On 14 September 2010, Stena Explorer left the Holyhead – Dún Laoghaire route with her last 2010 sailing being the 13:15 departure from Dún Laoghaire. Stena Lynx III operated the route until Sunday 9 January 2011. Stena Explorer returned on 1 April 2011 and will operate the route until 13 September 2011 on a one sailing a day basis.

Between 9–22 June 2011, Stena Explorer operated two round trips a day, due to the MS Stena Adventurer, which operates on Stena Lines' Holyhead – Dublin service receiving her annual refit in Liverpool.

Stena have decided to make the Holyhead – Dún Laoghaire service a seasonal route following the sailing on 13 September 2011. The route resumed service on Friday 30 March 2012 and will cease operation on 11 September 2012.[19] She will return to the Dún Laoghaire – Holyhead for the Christmas and New Year period from 20 December – 5 January 2013 leaving Holyhead at 1030am and Dún Laoghaire at 1330. According to the Stenaline.ie booking engine, her 2013 season will commence on 22 March and run until 10 September, before once again returning for Christmas 2013. For the 2013 season, her sailing time has been increased to 135 minutes which should enable further fuel savings. HSS Explorer returns on 20 December for 12 days of sailings from Dún Laoghaire to Holyhead and her 2014 season will run from 9 April – 9 September 2014. Unlike previous years, Stena Explorer did not operate additional services over the Christmas period.[20]

On 4 February 2015, Stena Line announced that the HSS service to Dún Laoghaire was to be withdrawn and not restarted for 2015 with Stena Explorer being withdrawn from service.[21] All services from Holyhead will now be concentrated on Dublin Port, served by both Stena Line and Irish Ferries, where capacity is being increased with the introduction of MS Stena Superfast X taking on the second ship role alongside Stena Adventurer and replacing MS Stena Nordica which has been chartered to DFDS Seaways.

The original company that was contracted to manage the towage operation upon the sale of the ferry was dispensed with and replaced with Gull Marine Ltd, which resolved outstanding issues that were delaying the project and successfully executed the towage on behalf of the owners from the berth to the outer harbour in Holyhead. On 1 November 2015, she departed on tow from Holyhead and arrived in Turkey on 17 November.

In 2016 One World Karadeniz was in Karmarine shipyard in Yalova, near Istanbul, Turkey. The owner, Karadeniz Holding, had converted it into an "earthquake-resistant" floating office, research space and alternative power generator for the community of Istanbul. It is part of Karadeniz' Powerships project. The ship was then on sale for as low as 4.5 Million Pounds on Unlimited Offshore.[1]


In April 1998, members of the Real IRA attempted to transport 2 cars loaded with nearly 1000 lbs of explosive each into the UK on board Stena Explorer, however they were intercepted and arrested at Dun Laoghaire port. It was reportedly destined for the Aintree racecourse, where it was to be detonated at the 1998 Grand National.[22]

On 20 September 2001, Stena Explorer suffered a generator fire in one of her pontoons. Whilst going astern (reversing) into dock at her berth in Holyhead, a fire was detected in her auxiliary (generator) engine room in the port pontoon. Shortly after, the CCTV system, normally used for visual docking, became disabled due to lack of power. Knowing that just-completed checks showed that fire doors (lasting at least one hour) were closed, permission to shut off the engine in question was (correctly) denied by the Master of the Ship until final approach line-up with the Linkspan was confirmed. At that point, the failing Cummins generator was shut off.

In lieu of the CCTV system, docking distances were relayed to the bridge by portable radio. Berthing was complete within 5 minutes of the original fire alarm and fresh water was taken on board to replenish the Hi-fog fire suppression system whilst all 551 passengers were safely off-loaded. The fire brigade attended and the Hi-fog water mist was deactivated at their request. A nine-month Marine Accident Investigation Branch investigation found the fault to be incorrect fitting of a compression fitting used for a high-pressure fuel line leading to fuel spraying and igniting upon contact with the hot turbo-charger unit.[23]

In October 2004, the Stena Explorer had to turn back to port after a wave damaged the ship's hull 30 minutes into its voyage out of Holyhead.

On 15 February 2006, while on her journey to Holyhead, the Stena Explorer struck a submerged object and was holed beneath the waterline. No-one was injured and it docked safely at Holyhead. The vessel was taken out of service for repairs after.


  1. ^ a b c "The Holyhead to Ireland fast ferry is to become a hi-tech floating office ... in Turkey.The ship is currently on sale for as low as 4.5 Million Pounds on Unlimited Offshore". Wales Online. 14 January 2016.
  2. ^ Ashmore, Jehan (June 2015). "Farewell to Stena's HSS". Ships Monthly. Retrieved 4 December 2022 – via archive.org.
  3. ^ Bowen, David (5 May 1996). "Forget the tunnel; all the talk on the high seas is of 50mph super ferries. And Britain doesn't make any of them". The Independent. United Kingdom. p. 1 (Business Supplement). Retrieved 26 December 2009. The HSS is the biggest catamaran in the world...
  4. ^ "HSS 1500 series high speed catamaran ferry for sale (ex Stena line)". Unlimited Offshore. 5 May 2016.
  5. ^ "HSS Stena Explorer – Past and Present". Dover Ferry Photos. 11 August 2022.
  6. ^ a b "Stena Explorer (18235)". DNV Vessel Register. DNV. Retrieved 26 December 2009.
  7. ^ Mott, David (11 May 1994). "Stena orders fast ferry". Lloyd's List. United Kingdom: 18. ISSN 0144-820X. Archived from the original on 27 January 2013. Retrieved 26 December 2009. The order for the 1,500-passenger, 40-knot vessel has gone to Finnyards in Rauma, the yard which won the first two craft, for Stena Sealink last summer.
  8. ^ McDonald, Frank (20 December 1993). "New ferryport planned for Dun Laoghaire". The Irish Times. Ireland. p. 8. Major ferryport costing £15 million is being planned for Dun Laoghaire Harbour to cater for a new generation of high speed catamaran ferries, and it is expected that the Department of the Marine will make a planning application for the scheme this week. The ferryport would be located at St Michael's Pier, which was completed in 1969 but is rarely used. It is designed to cater for a Stena Sealink HSS (high speed service) ferry now being built in Finland at a cost of £65 million, which would be half as wide and nearly as long as the GAA pitch at Croke Park.
  9. ^ "Stena Explorer". Sealink-Holyhead. Retrieved 26 December 2009.
  10. ^ "The story behind the building of the first Stena HSS". Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company. Archived from the original on 8 December 2009. Retrieved 26 December 2009.
  11. ^ "Our Ships: Stena Explorer". Stena Line. Retrieved 26 December 2009.
  12. ^ "GE Marine Engines' LM Gas Turbines Exceed 600,000 Hours Operating Aboard 16 Fast Ferries" (Press release). GE Aviation. 9 September 2002. Archived from the original on 11 December 2010. Retrieved 26 December 2009. Each semi-swath fast ferry has two LM1600 and two LM2500 gas turbines in a Combined Gas and Gas (COGAG) turbine configuration.
  13. ^ a b MacLennan, Graeme (15 December 1993). "Powerful propulsion for Stena catamaran ferry". Lloyd's List. United Kingdom: 6. ISSN 0144-820X. Archived from the original on 27 January 2013. Retrieved 26 December 2009. The HSS will be propelled by four KaMeWa equal-sized waterjets (two in each hull, and all with steering and reversing heads). These will be powered by two father-and-son configurations comprised in each case of a Kvaerner-General Electric LM2500 and LM1600 gas turbine, driven through Maag combining and splitting gears.
  14. ^ King, Mike (28 May 2003). "Ro-Ro: A question of size rather than speed". Lloyd's List. United Kingdom: 16. ISSN 0144-820X. Archived from the original on 27 January 2013. Retrieved 26 December 2009. The HSS concept allows simultaneous discharge and loading through all four sterndoors. Car lanes are located as close as possible to the ship and arranged into four lanes to speed turnaround. The linkspan mooring arrangement removes the need for ropes, and passengers, stores, fuel and water are all loaded at the same time, typically cutting loading or unloading times to 10–15 minutes.
  15. ^ Webster, Ben (24 June 2008). "Future of fast ferries in doubt as cost of fuel soars". London: Times Online. Retrieved 24 May 2010.
  16. ^ "Stena Lines ferries face rising fuel prices". France24.
  17. ^ "Stena Line timetable". Daily Post. Wales. 7 January 2010. High-speed Holyhead ferry is axed.
  18. ^ Naughton, Gareth (20 December 2009). "Struggling Dun Laoghaire Harbour firm to reduce staff". Sunday Tribune. Ireland. p. 2 (Business Supplement). Retrieved 26 December 2009. Passenger numbers at the harbour are already set to fall significantly next year when the HSS Stena Explorer is replaced with a smaller vessel by the ferry operator in February.[permanent dead link]
  19. ^ http://www.stenaline.co.uk/ferry/routes/holyhead-dun-laoghaire/ Stena Line website
  20. ^ Hughes, Owen (4 February 2015). "Stena Line ferry service from Holyhead to Ireland scrapped". walesonline.
  21. ^ "Stena Line scraps fast ferry service". BBC News. 4 February 2015.
  22. ^ "Sinister silence protecting gang behind Omagh bomb". The Irish Times.
  23. ^ "Report on the investigation of the fire on board HSS Stena Explorer entering Holyhead on 20 September 2001" (PDF). Marine Accident Investigation Branch. 2003. Retrieved 26 December 2009.

External links[edit]