Stena Line ferry terminal
This building was opened in January 1996 as part of an upgrade of Holyhead port. Port owner Stena Line had previously announced its intention to operate the world’s largest high-speed catamaran ferry from Holyhead’s inner harbour. This large vessel required a new purpose-built terminal.
This side of Holyhead’s inner harbour was formerly occupied by facilities for transhipment of goods between trains and ships, while the main passenger terminal was on the west side of the harbour.
Stena Line commissioned the Manser architectural practice to design a terminal building which would resemble an airport facility, rather than a traditional ferry terminal. The new facility had to support the ferry’s 30-minute turnaround, the period in which the incoming passengers and vehicles would disembark and outbound ones would board. Aluminium cladding and wave-like roof forms are features of the building. The design was later used for new Stena Line terminals at Fishguard, Belfast and Stranraer.
The new ferry, HSS Explorer, entered service between Holyhead and Dun Laoghaire in April 1996. Its capacity was 1,500 passengers and up to 375 cars. A 99-minute journey time was advertised. In 2008, the journey time was lengthened to conserve fuel, following increases in the price of oil.
In 2015 Stena Line announced that HSS Explorer would no longer operate on the route, and Stena’s service would connect the outer harbor to Dublin Port. This ended 135 years of ferries to and from Dun Laoghaire, and the long tradition of ferries tying up close to the railway station and town centre at Holyhead’s inner harbour.
Postcode: LL65 1DQ