By Dan Walsh
Stena Line has cancelled all crossings between Fishguard, Pembrokeshire and Rosslare, until April 12th.
Sailings on a Welsh ferry route have been suspended as the operator tries to plug gaps left in Northern Ireland.
It has moved a ship to Northern Ireland following concerns food supplies could be by the P&O crisis as P&O’s services were suspended after sacking 800 staff stating the business was not “viable”.
Passengers who usually travel from Fishguard are being advised to travel on the Pembroke service instead, as Irish Ferries is accepting Stena Line customers.
“Due to the suspension of P&O’s services into Northern Ireland there were supply fears in the region,” Stena Line’s Simon Palmer explained; To add “additional ferry capacity”, the company has sent the Stena Nordica – one of its ships on the Holyhead to Dublin route – to help.
However, this left a gap on that route, so Stena Europe – which usually sails between Fishguard and Rosslare – was moved to cover it. “The issue is also compounded by the timing of the crisis happening during our annual dry-docking period, where our ships take turns going into the shipyard for a makeover,” Mr Palmer added; “Otherwise, we would’ve had a spare ship. The Stena Horizon from our Cherbourg route is currently in dry-dock, with that route being covered by the vessel Stena Estrid, which has been moved from her normal route on Holyhead to Dublin.”
The Horizon is due to be out of dry dock on April 11th, which should free up more capacity.
After P&O sacked workers and suspended services at the end of March, hauliers in Northern Ireland warned they were running at 50% capacity because of issues.