MS Stena Superfast VII

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MS Superfast VII, Neste Oilin edustalla matkalla Naantaliin Turun Korjaustelakalle, 14.5.2008.JPG
MS Superfast VII, approaching Turku Repair Yard at Naantali, Finland.
Career
Name: Stena Superfast VII
Owner: 2002–06: Superfast Ferries
2006 onwards: Baltic SF VII Ltd (Tallink)[1]
Operator: 2002–06: Superfast Ferries
2006–11: Tallink[1]
2011 onwards Stena Line[1]
Port of registry: 2002–06: Piraeus,  Greece
2006–11: Paldiski,  Estonia
2011 onwards: Belfast  United Kingdom[1]
Route: BelfastCairnryan
Builder: HDW, Kiel, Germany
Yard number: 357[1]
Launched: 18 November 2000[1]
Acquired: 8 May 2001[1]
Maiden voyage: 17 May 2001[1]
In service: 17 May 2001[1]
Identification: IMO number: 9198941[1]
Call sign: 2EZR3
MMSI number: 235089435
Status: In service
General characteristics (as built)[1]
Class and type: Superfast VII class fast ropax ferry
Tonnage: 30,285 GT
Displacement: 5,915 t DWT
Length: 203.90 m (669 ft)
Beam: 25.00 m (82 ft)
Height: 40.00 m (131 ft)
Draught: 6.60 m (21 ft 8 in)
Decks: 10[2]
Ice class: 1 A Super[2]
Installed power: 4 × Wärtsilä-Sulzer NSD ZA V40S diesels
combined 46,000 kW
Propulsion: 2 propellers
3 bow thrusters
1 stern thruster[3]
Speed: 30.4 kn (56.30 km/h)[2]
Capacity: 626 passengers
661 cars
1,920 lane meters
Crew: 63[3]
General characteristics (in Stena Service)[4]
Class and type: Superfast VII class fast ropax ferry
Length: 203.3 m (667 ft)
Beam: 25.42 m (83 ft 5 in)
Deck clearance: 4.7 m, 5.2 m on central 4 lanes of the upper vehicle deck
Installed power: 4 × Wärtsilä-Sulzer NSD ZA V40S main engines producing 11,500 kW each(total 46,000 kW (62,000 shp)), coupled to 2 × 5.2 m KaMeWa propellers via 2 × Schelde dual input single output gearboxes
3 × MAN B&W 8L28/32H, producing a total of 1,848 kW each @ 510 rpm
Propulsion: 2 × 5.2 m KaMeWa propellers
3 × 925 kW KaMeWa bow thrusters
1 × 1,350 kW stern thruster [4]
Speed: 20 kn (37.0 km/h) - 22 kn (40.7 km/h) [4]
Capacity: 1,200 passengers
661 cars or 110 trailers (or a mix of both)
Notes: Entered Stena service along with her sister Stena Superfast VIII on 21/11/2011.[4]

MS Stena Superfast VII is a fast Ro-Pax ferry owned by the Estonian ferry company Tallink and chartered to Stena Line operated on their service between Belfast and Cairnryan. Built in 2001 by Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft (HDW) in Kiel, Germany for Attica Group's subsidiary Superfast Ferries, she was sold to her current owners in 2006.[1]

Concept and construction[edit]

Stena Superfast VII was the first ship in a series of four ice-classified ropax ferries built by HDW in Kiel for Superfast Ferries' Baltic Sea services.[5] She was ordered in 1998, alongside sister ship MS Superfast VIII,[6] launched from dry dock on 8 November 2000 and was delivered to Superfast Ferries on 8 May 2001.[1]

Service history[edit]

2001–06: Superfast Ferries[edit]

Following delivery the Superfast VII visited Rosyth, Scotland and Helsinki, Finland where she was displayed to the public. She inaugurated Superfast Ferries' Hanko (Finland) – Rostock (Germany) service on 17 May 2001. On 18 January 2002 a pregnant passenger went into labour on board while the Superfast VII was en route from Hanko to Rostock. Taking the ship to Karlshamn, Sweden where the expecting mother could be taken to a hospital was considered, but in the end the decision was made to bring a midwife on board by a pilot boat. The child had already been born by the time the midwife arrived on board, with the captain's wife assisting in childbirth.[1]

On 12 November 2004 the Superfast VII was entering Hanko harbour in heavy wind with the help of two tugs when she was grounded near the Hanko breakwater at 19:24 Eastern European Time. The grounding resulted in no major damage and the ship was able to continue to the harbour soon afterwards. 140 passengers were on board at the time of the incident. Subsequent enquiries revealed the Safety Management System instructions provided for the crew by Superfast Ferries had not included instructions for port steering during a storm, which had led to an incorrect estimation of the wind effect and insufficient utilization of the ship's navigational equipment.[3] Following the grounding the ship sailed to Luonnonmaan telakka in Naantali, Finland on 14 November 2004 and returned to service after repairs on 27 November 2004.[1]

2006–11: Tallink[edit]

On 21 March 2006 Superfast Ferries sold their Baltic Sea operations (Superfast VII, Superfast VIII and Superfast IX) to the Estonia-based Tallink, with the delivery date set for 10 April 2006. According to the agreement Tallink could continue utilising the Superfast brand until the end of 2007 at latest.[1][7] Following delivery to the new owners the ship was moved from Finnish to Estonian registry, and her route changed to Hanko–Paldiski–Rostock on 17 April 2006.[1] The route change caused problems however as Estonia was not a member of the Schengen Treaty (unlike Finland and Germany), and passport control facilities had to be built in all ports.[citation needed] Already in June of the same year the route reverted to Hanko–Rostock. Around the same time the "Superfast" text on the ship's side was altered into "Superfast operated by Tallink".[1]

The route of the Superfast VII was changed to Helsinki–Rostock on 1 January 2007 and Tallinn–Helsinki–Rostock on 14 January 2007. Coinciding with this all remaining Superfast logos on the ships were painted over with Tallink logos, but otherwise the original Superfast livery was maintained.[1] Due to falling passenger numbers and rising fuel costs the route of Superfast VII and VIII will revert to Helsinki–Rostock in late 2008, while the Superfast IX will be chartered to Marine Atlantic in October 2008.[8][9] Reportedly Tallink are considering the closure of the entire Tallink Superfast -division.[8] In January 2010, the Superfast VII and her sister were removed from service and laid up in Tallinn, but they resumed service on the Helsinki-Rostock route at the end of April 2010 and continuing during the summer and autumn season. On 29 and 30 December 2010, Superfast VII replaced MS Superstar on the route Tallinn-Helsinki due to scheduled docking[1]

2011 onwards: Stena Line[edit]

In March 2011, Stena Line announced they will be chartering the Superfast VII and sister ship Superfast VIII. Superfast VII and Superfast VIII launched on 21 November 2011 after major refit by MJM Marine in Remontowa Shipyard in Poland.[10] The vessels now operate between Belfast and Stena Line's new terminal at Cairnryan.[11] In February 2014, Stena renewed the charter of these ships until Autumn 2019.

Conversion to day ferries[4][edit]

Before the two sisters entered service for Stena Line, an extensive refurbishment/conversion overseen by Stena Ro-Ro and Knud E Hansen was undertaken at the Remontowa Shipyard in Gdansk, Poland. This was rumoured at the time to have cost a total of €14M. As part of this conversion, the free height of the upper vehicle deck was raised to 5.05 m allowing Stena to carry full height freight. Both ships also received an additional bow thruster to improve manoeuvrability, taking their complement to 3 bow thrusters and 1 stern thruster. As the new port in Scotland had a TTS automated mooring system installed, the ships where also adapted to work with this by adding 3 steel bollards on the starboard side bow.

Conversion of passenger spaces [4][edit]

In order to reduce cabin capacity and increase the range of passenger facilities, Deck 8 was converted from a cabin deck to a public deck and contains a Truckers lounge, cinema, pod lounge, living room, news room, magazine lounge, barista coffee bar, and Stena Plus lounge in place of the 128 cabins which where removed. The majority of deck 7 is now occupied by the Taste restaurant and the Met Bar (which has slightly raised flooring at the front of its lounge in order to accommodate the extra height required by the car deck below) with guest services, children’s play area, Stena shopping, and a video game arcade occupying the remaining space. Deck 9 is inaccessible to the public and is totally given over to crew accommodation. The remaining deck accessible to the public is deck 10. This contains The Pure Nordic Spa, the Superfast Suites, and an extensive outside sun deck. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the vessel, and is provided by a Marlink Sealink system which was installed by Stena. In service, the two lower car decks are rarely used, with cars normally being carried on the vehicle decks along with freight.

On-board Facilities (Stena Line)[4][edit]

Deck 1[edit]

Car deck (39 cars)

Deck 2[edit]

Car deck (43 cars)

Deck 3[edit]

Main vehicle deck (52 standard height trailers)

Deck 5[edit]

Upper vehicle deck (58 trailers – 30 with 5.05 metres free height (4 lanes))

Deck 7[edit]

  • Taste restaurant
  • Metropolitan Bar
  • Stena Shopping
  • Videogame arcade
  • Slot machines
  • Children’s play area
  • Guest services
  • Promenade deck and smoking area

Deck 8[edit]

  • Truckers lounge (with outside smoking area)
  • Barista coffee bar
  • Cinema
  • Pod lounge
  • Living room
  • News room
  • Magazine Lounge
  • Stena Plus Lounge (chargeable extra)

Deck 9[edit]

Crew accommodation deck (Not accessible to the public)

Deck 10[edit]

  • Pure Nordic Spa (chargeable extra)
  • Superfast Suites (chargeable extra)
  • Sun Deck

Other information[edit]

Stena Superfast VII and her sister, Stena Superfast VIII, are managed by Northern Marine Management, a Stena owned company.

Trivia[edit]

On Stena Superfast VII, when viewed from above, the uppermost deck is coloured blue. On Stena Superfast VIII this deck is sand coloured. This is one of very few differences between the two sister ships. Stena Superfast X also has this deck coloured blue, however she can be distinguished from her sisters by the lack of 'wing tips' on her funnel. Another difference between Stena Superfast VII and VIII is that there is a sandwich stand in front of the bar in the Met Bar on the Stena Superfast VII, while the Stena Superfast VIII does not.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t Asklander, Micke. "M/S Superfast VII (2001)". Fakta om Fartyg (in Swedish). Retrieved 2008-04-02. 
  2. ^ a b c "MS Superfast VII, pohjakosketus Hangossa 12.11.2004" (PDF) (in Finnish, Swedish, and English). Onnettomuustutkintakeskus. 2006-05-23. Retrieved 2008-09-17. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Stena Superfast VII and Stena Superfast VIII". NI Ferry Site. 20 February 2014. 
  4. ^ "Attica Receives New Superfast Ferry". Marine Link.com. Maritime Activity Reports, Inc. 2001-05-09. Retrieved 2008-09-17. [dead link]
  5. ^ "About Superfast Ferries". Superfast Ferries. Retrieved 2008-09-17. 
  6. ^ "Sale of Superfast VII, VIII and IX to AS Tallink Grupp". Ferry News. aferry.to. 2006-04-10. Retrieved 2008-09-17. 
  7. ^ a b "Tallink harkitsee Superfast-pikalaivojen vetämistä Itämereltä". HS.fi (in Finnish). Helsingin Sanomat. 2008-07-23. Retrieved 2008-09-17. 
  8. ^ "Charter of MS Superfast IX". Tallink press release. Tallink Grupp. 2008-04-25. Retrieved 2008-09-17. 
  9. ^ "Two Stena Line chartered sister ferries come to Remontowa for major refit". www.remontowa.com.pl. 2011. 
  10. ^ "New ships for Scotland - NI service". Stena Line. 7 March 2011. 

External links[edit]