Swedish ferry operator Stena Line plans to upgrade its services in Central Europe and Scandinavia by implementing a more frequent ferry timetable and introducing an additional ship due to the rapidly increasing demand for the ferry transport.
The company intends to focus on Northern Baltic Sea region development, aiming at strengthening its market position in the Baltic Sea with two main routes to Sweden and Germany, according to Erik Thulin, Stena Line’s Trade Director Baltic Sea North.
Stena Line said that Ventspils in Latvia will be positioned as the gateway to Scandinavia, thus reinforcing the route Ventspils-Nynäshamn. The ferry Stena Flavia will be permanently redirected to this route, while previously it also operated between Ventspils and German Travemünde. Stena Flavia will operate the route together with Scottish Viking and the number of ferry departures will be increased by 30%, according to the company. Starting from January 3, 2017, 24 crossings per week will be available on this route instead of the usual 18 weekly crossings.
The ferry crossing from Ventspils to Travemünde will be redirected to Liepaja, Latvia. In turn, Liepaja will be the main port connecting Latvia to the western part of Central Europe. An additional ferry will be introduced to this route to Germany, increasing the number of crossings by 25%, Stena Line said.
Starting from January 3, 2017, the route, to be operated by Urd and Stena Nordica, will provide eight crossings per week. The company said that Stena Nordica will be taken into operation during spring and until then Stena Gothica, operating Göteborg-Frederikshavn, will be a relief ship. The ferry crossing from Liepaja to Swedish Nynäshamn will be transferred to Ventspils.
“The changes in ferry routes and schedules constitute a strategically important step in order to develop and reinforce two large and significant transportation corridors – from Ventspils to Scandinavia and from Liepaja to Central Europe,” Erik Thulin said.