The Stena Navigator, which operates on the Stranraer-Belfast route, has succeeded in picking up the accolade for 'best ferry conversion' in the annual ShipPax awards, a global industry voice for ferries and cruise ships.
ShipPax, which is based in Sweden and publishes the influential monthly Cruise & Ferry Info magazine along with several other titles, presented the prestigious award at its annual shipping conference.
The Stena Navigator which was purchased from SeaFrance last summer, was given a major makeover back in the autumn before entering service in November. The £2m refurbishment was carried out by Northern Ireland company MJM and was designed by Swedish company Figura.
ShipPax said the project was "more than a simple revamping of an older ferry". It applauded the vessel's "surprisingly fresh interior themes", including its artwork, and praised the designers for creating a warm and welcoming environment for customers.
Paul Grant, Stena Line's Route Director for Stranraer-Belfast, said: "We are extremely pleased with this award because it supports our view that the Navigator is a great addition to our route.
"A lot of time, money and effort was spent on turning the ship into the first class vessel which we have today. We think she looks fantastic and it's great that ShipPax feels the same way.
"The company's Scandinavian heritage was built into the design, most notably in our luxurious Stena Plus Lounge on the Stena Navigator and this has really added to the overall look and feel of the ship."
The Navigator boasts substantial passenger areas including Barista coffee house and bar and The Met restaurant which both seat up to 270, a Sports Bar which seats up to 160 and Stena Plus which seats up to 150.
The ferry, which caters for both passenger and freight traffic and has a capacity of up to 1,200 passengers and up to 280 cars or 50 lorries, also has two cinemas showing free movies, a Curious George play area for kids featuring an interactive zone, soft play area and mini cinema, Teen Town with the latest video games for teenagers, internet surf stations, free wi-fi and an onboard shop which offers a wide range of gifts, jewellery and fragrances.
There are dedicated facilities for freight drivers as well, including a drivers' restaurant and a separate truckers' lounge with state of the art internet facilities, a large touch screen and a relaxation area offering the ultimate in driver comfort.
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Notes to Editors:
About Stena Line:
Stena Line is the market leader on the Irish Sea, offering the biggest fleet and widest choice of routes between Britain and Ireland, including Stranraer to Belfast, Holyhead to Dun Laoghaire and Dublin Port, Fishguard to Rosslare and Fleetwood to Larne. The company carries almost three million passengers on its Irish Sea routes each year, more than its rival ferry operators combined.
For further information, please contact:
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075 0146 2677
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