Stena Vision will come to Rosslare from the Baltic Sea, and sail to Cherbourg from June 2023
Stena Line is to introduce a second “cruise-ferry” on its Rosslare to Cherbourg service next summer – boosting sea links for Irish holidaymakers to France.
Stena Vision will have 485 cabins, which the company says is more than any other ferry operating in and out of Ireland.
The ship will begin service next June 30, with space for 1,300 passengers.
Fares are on sale, starting from €289 for a car and driver one-way, the company says. The travel time is scheduled to be 18 hours, leaving Rosslare at 9pm and arriving in France at 4pm the next day.
"We’ve seen increased demand for more services and bigger vessels and are pleased to announce that from next June we will have 12 sailings weekly on the shortest and most frequent direct service between Ireland and France,” said Paul Grant, Irish Sea trade director at Stena Line.
Operating alongside Stena Horizon, the additional ship will triple Stena’s passenger capacity for tourists on the Rosslare to Cherbourg service.
The 175.5m Stena Vision is described as “bigger and more spacious” than its sister ship on the route, with a “Nordic Spa” alongside its bars and restaurants.
There will also be 42 pet-friendly cabins, with rates starting from €140 for a four-berth inside cabin, it says.
As well as standard cabins, there are superior cabins available from €285 and deluxe accommodations starting from €395 each way, Stena says.
Other ferry sailings from Ireland to France include Brittany Ferries’ routes from Rosslare to Cherbourg and Cork to Roscoff, as well as Irish Ferries’ WB Yeats, which sails from Dublin to Cherbourg with 440 cabins.
Brittany Ferries this month introduced the 214.5m-long “cruise-ferry” Salamanca to Rosslare Europort, which offers direct sailings from Ireland to Spain.
That ship can carry more than 1,000 passengers, also has pet-friendly cabins among its offerings, and is accepting customers on foot and bike for the first time on the route.
Sailings from Rosslare to Bilbao take 29 to 30 hours each way.
Increased capacity on continental ferry routes is also hoped to bring an inbound tourism boost for Ireland.
Stena Vision has been upgraded since it first sailed in 1987, and will come to Rosslare from the Baltic Sea, where it has been operating on the Swedish/Polish Karlskrona to Gdynia route.
Its introduction will also increase freight capacity – haulier demand for direct services to France has grown since Brexit, the company says.
Stena Line, which celebrated its 60th anniversary this year, opened a new passenger terminal at Victoria Terminal 2 (VT2) in Belfast Harbour last month.
It has also launched two new ferries on the Belfast-Birkenhead route, Stena Edda and Stena Embla, increasing passenger and freight capacity by over a third.