Stena Line has cancelled its Fishguard, Wales to Rosslare, Ireland sailings for a week, amid a significant drop in demand since Brexit was implemented at the beginning of the year. However, Stena said that it remained committed to the long-term future of the Welsh port.
Sea routes between Wales and Ireland have suffered from changes in trading patterns since Brexit, exacerbated by Covid-19 lockdowns. Stena said that it would take the opportunity to undertake its dry-docking programme for annual maintenance.
The Stena Europe (IMO 7901760) will cover the Holyhead-Dublin service for a short period. Stena Line said that “as a result of the reduced demand on its Welsh routes, caused by national lockdowns and post-Brexit trade distortion, Stena Line has to continue to be flexible in deploying its fleet capacity where the demand is strongest. The company is using this quiet period to undertake its dry-docking programme and will need to temporarily switch Stena Europe to cover its Holyhead-Dublin service for a short period, in order to maintain two vessels on this key route.”
From February 15th to 23rd inclusive sailings between Fishguard-Rosslare will be cancelled.
“This route has been impacted significantly from both Covid-19 and Brexit. Traditionally it relies on a combination of both tourism travel and freight to be viable. So far this year passenger volumes are down 80% and freight volumes are down 50% year-on-year”, said Stena Line, which also owns Fishguard Port.
The Stena Europe will resume service from Fishguard on February 24th.