MS Stena Baltica (2007)

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Cotentin Ferry 20100912 Santander.jpg
The Cotentin arriving in Santander
History
Name:
  • Stena Baltica (2013-Present)
  • Cotentin (2007-2013)
Owner: SOMACOT
Operator:
Route: Karlskrona - Gdynia
Ordered: 2 August 2005[1]
Builder: Aker Finnyards, Helsinki, Finland
Yard number: 1357
Launched: 13 April 2007[1]
Christened: 26 November 2007[1]
Acquired: 9 November 2007[1]
In service: 26 November 2007
Homeport:
Identification:
Status: In service
General characteristics [1]
Tonnage:
Length: 167.00 m (547.90 ft)
Beam: 26.80 m (87.93 ft)
Draught: 6.20 m (20.34 ft)
Ice class: 1B
Installed power: 2 × MaK diesels, combined 21600 kW
Propulsion: 2 x Screw Propeller Controllable pitch LB 10.00
Speed: 23 knots (43 km/h; 26 mph)
Capacity:
  • 200 passengers
  • 120 passenger cabins
  • 120 freight vehicles
  • 2200 lanemeters
Crew: 50

Stena Baltica is a freight ferry operated by Stena Line between Karlskrona and Gdynia.

The vessel was built by Aker Finnyards in Finland as the Cotentin for Brittany Ferries. She was named after the Cotentin Peninsula of France of which Cherbourg is its largest town. Cotentin was also the name of one of the original Truckline vessels to sail between Poole and Cherbourg. Sea trials commenced on 26 September 2007 after which she returned to the shipyard for completion. She was delivered to Brittany Ferries on 9 November 2007 and undertook berthing trials in Portsmouth and Poole on 14 November 2007 prior to sailing to her homeport of Cherbourg arriving the next day. Her first commercial sailing was the 23:45 Cherbourg–Poole service on 26 November 2007. Cotentin replaces MV Coutances on weekday Poole–Cherbourg sailings.

Cotentin sails under the French flag and is registered in Cherbourg. In terms of capacity she is the largest ship ever to have operated out of Poole and also the largest ship by capacity in the Brittany Ferries fleet, carrying two more freight vehicles than the physically larger Mont St Michel.[3] The ships gross tonnage is given as 19,909[4] or 22542[2] depending on the source.

Regular routes[edit]

When the order for the Cotentin in 2005 was announced it was not made clear which route the vessel would be placed on. The French press released stated that she would be for the PortsmouthCherbourg and run to Santander at the weekends route while the English press release simply stated that she would be used in the Cherbourg route and to Spain at the weekend.

An October 2006 article in International Freighting Weekly included comments from a Brittany Ferries executive which suggested that the ship would be placed on the PooleCherbourg route and that the timetable currently operated by the Coutances would be amended to give more "social" departure times, specifically changing the 02:00 summer time departure from Cherbourg.[5]

Up to mid-July 2007 the Brittany Ferries Freight timetable showed a two-ship service on Poole–Cherbourg after the delivery of the Cotentin, and no Portsmouth–Cherbourg sailings, indicating the company's intention to place the ship on the Poole–Cherbourg route alongside the Barfleur. Newspaper articles covering the launch of the vessel stated that the vessel would primarily be used on the Poole route. Despite the initial announcement that the ship would run to Santander at the weekend a decision had not been made at the time as to whether this will be the ships Spanish destination due to port fees. Other ports that were in the running to receive the Cotentin were Bilbao and Gijon.

On 21 July 2007 it was announced by Brittany Ferries that the Cotentin would operate from Poole,[6] a partially amended timetable for the Poole–Cherbourg route had been posted prior to the announcement though Cotentin sailings were absent until the delivery date was confirmed. The amendments allowed for the Cotentin's Poole–Santander weekend sailings.

The 2008 timetable announced on 12 September 2007 showed the Cotentin entering service in mid-November 2007 on the Poole–Cherbourg route with services to Santander commencing shortly after. Initially the 2008 timetable showed that after Christmas the Cotentin would move to the Caen route to provide refit cover for the Mont St Michel before returning to Poole. Her place on the Cherbourg and Santander route was to have been taken by the Bretagne, however shortly after its release the timetable was edited and the Cotentin will remain on the Cherbourg and Santander routes throughout January. From mid-May 2008 the Cotentin will commence the new summer timetable with sailings on the Cherbourg route carried out in 3 hours 45 minutes as opposed to the previous 4 hours 30 mins on the Coutances. The crossing time was extended after a short time operating the new timetable as a fuel saving measure.

MV Cotentin under construction at Aker Finnyards Helsinki New Shipyard

Onboard facilities[edit]

  • Self-Service Restaurant - Deck 7
  • Bar Lounge - Deck 7
  • Boutique - Deck 7
  • TV Lounges - Deck 7
  • 120 2-berth Cabins - Decks 8 and 9
Some confusion exists as to the exact number of passenger cabins on board. The Brittany Ferries Freight website has conflicting numbers stating 120 and 116 on the same page, also the same page gives a total of 216 berths which would mean there are 108 2-berth cabins.

Publicity material issued by Brittany Ferries states that there is a fitness room on board available for use by passengers.[7] However, this is a crew-only facility and is not located on a deck accessible by passengers.

References[edit]

External links[edit]