Stena resumes Birkenhead to Dublin freight route

Swedish ferry operator Stena Line resumes services between the River Mersey and Dublin after a break of several years with the new service freight-only. Tony McDonough reports

Stena Horizon
Stena Horizon will operate the Birkenhead to Belfast route for the moment. Picture from Stena Line


Stena Line has restored its Birkenhead to Dublin ferry link with the first vessel having left on Thursday morning and arriving at the 12 Quays terminal in Birkenhead.

In the mid-2010s the Swedish ferry firm axed its daily Liverpool to Dublin service from 12 Quays. It currently operates a twice-daily return service to Belfast using the vessels Stena Edda and Stena Embla.

In August 2023 LBN revealed that P&O Ferries is to axe its Liverpool to Dublin ferry route by the end of 2023. This sparked a discussion within Stena about whether it decided to reinstate what is a popular route, particularly for freight.

In December Stena confirmed the route linking the Irish capital with the Mersey would resume early in 2024. However, unlike the Belfast server this new route will not carry car or foot passengers and will be freight only.

This addition of the new service will be Stena Line’s seventh route in the Irish Sea region complementing its Belfast – Cairnryan, Belfast – Heysham, Belfast – Liverpool, Dublin – Holyhead, Rosslare – Fishguard and Rosslare – Cherbourg services.

With Stena Horizon temporarily operating on the new Dublin- Liverpool route, the company is currently assessing ship deployment options for a permanent freight-only vessel.

The new service will provide freight customers on both sides of the Irish Sea with even more choice when it comes to securing an efficient and reliable connection between Ireland and Britain.

Paul Grant, trade director (Irish Sea), Stena Line said: “We are excited to launch our much-anticipated new freight route between Dublin and Liverpool, securing a key trading route across the Irish Sea.


Paul Grant
Paul Grant, trade director (Irish Sea), Stena Line


“With two services now operating from both Dublin Port and 12 Quays in Birkenhead, we’re expanding our operational hubs in both ports creating more efficiencies for our customers.

“Currently, we have deployed the Stena Horizon temporarily, but we hope to be able to confirm a permanent solution soon that will help to maximise freight capacity and boost trade volumes.”

Phil Hall, port director Liverpool, Peel Ports Group, added: “ “We are delighted to be supporting this new freight route as part of our long-standing partnership programme with Stena Line, which further enhances trade opportunities.”

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