Ferries

HSS Stena Explorer

She's big and she's fast

Irish Sea fast ferry Stena HSS Explorer is among the world's largest fast ferries, boasting a range of shopping, lounges, bars and restaurants fit for the most discerning customer.

The giant twin hulled craft sails at twice the speed of conventional ferries, taking just 119 minutes to cross, with a new sailing schedule of 10.25 hrs from Holyhead returning at 13.30 hrs from Dun Laoghaire.

Power comes from four jet engines which produce 100,000 horsepower - the same as a jumbo jet - and ride comfort from a revolutionary hull design, patented by Stena.

image At 126 metres long and 40 metres wide - about the same size as a football pitch - she was the first fast ferry able to carry commercial vehicles and coaches as well as cars, with space for up to 375 cars (or 120 cars and 50 lorries), together with up to 1,500 passengers. This gives her similar carrying capacity to traditional superferries.

In addition, her on board passenger facilities situated on one enormous 4,000 square metre deck, are unique.

From the gigantic panoramic window at the front of the ferry to the imaginative “Incredible Voyage” entertainment complex at the stern, passengers find spacious air-conditioned lounges, bars, McDonald’s and Stena Line restaurants, duty-free and tax free shops, a video lounge and the latest in interactive computer games.

Aircraft technology is extended to the bridge which resembles an aircraft cockpit with the most sophisticated electronics system ever installed on a merchant ship, with a built-in satellite docking system.

Safety and stability are other key features. There are no bow doors - loading and unloading is via the stern - and the vehicle deck is eight metres above the water line. The two hulls are each divided into 14 self-contained areas, separated from one another by water-tight bulkheads.

The Stena HSS Explorer travels on the Holyhead to Dun Laoghaire route once a day with a crossing time from only 119 minutes. Depending on your mood there are a range of lounges to choose from, which also includes our indulgent Premium Stena Plus Lounge. There is also an observation area at the front of the ship, Barista Coffee Lounge, Food City restaurant, and Metropolitan Bar all for your enjoyment. Not to mention impressive shopping and children’s play area!

If that wasn’t enough you can also surf the net with our free Wi-Fi if you have your own laptop, PDA or smartphone. Just pick up your access card from Guest Services and the web is at your fingertips for free!

Vital Statistics

Operator: Stena Line
Route: Holyhead - Dun Laoghaire
Built: 1996
Builders: Finnyards, Finland
Gross tonnage: 19,638
Passengers: 1,500
Cars: 360
Length: 417ft
Width:131ft
Speed: 40 knots
Registered: UK

Stena Line

Every year more than 450,000 people cross the North Sea between the UK and Holland on the ferries of Stena Line, the largest ferry operator in Europe and one of the largest in the world. More...

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