Northern Ireland’s largest ferry operator, Stena Line, has opened the doors of its brand new terminal to passengers. The new look passenger terminal at Victoria Terminal 2 (VT2), in Belfast Harbour, has been expanded and refurbished to provide new facilities to cater for the increased passenger levels on the busy Birkenhead route, with a further £3m investment by Belfast Harbour.
The significant upgrade to facilities has transformed and extended the original terminal building with new check-in booths for passenger vehicles and includes a full refurbishment of the interior of the terminal. The development includes a new departure lounge with an increased capacity for approximately 200 people, as well as a new Barista café area and passenger waiting area. Externally, there are three new vehicle check in booths and an extended queueing area for passengers in vehicles and coaches.
Paul Grant, Stena Line’s Irish Sea Trade Director said: “It is great to see the next stage of the investment in our Belfast operations come to fruition. In partnership with Belfast Harbour, we have taken our old and dated building, with limited space, and totally modernised the design with a great new range of improved facilities. Customers using our new modern vessels needed a new modern terminal to serve them and now they have that, to ensure they get the best travel experience from departure to arrival. Over the past 26 years we have grown our Belfast hub into the biggest within the Stena group across all of our European routes, and we will continue to invest and improve our services in Belfast and Northern Ireland.”
Michael Robinson, Port Director at Belfast Harbour, said: “We are really pleased to see the newly refurbished VT2 open to passengers after a significant investment from both Stena Line and Belfast Harbour. We believe that providing modern facilities for our customers and investing in the Port’s core infrastructure is essential to supporting our partners’ ambitions, and to achieving our goal of becoming one of the world’s leading regional ports. As passenger traffic levels on Stena Line’s services continues to grow, we are committed to supporting our partners at Stena Line, as they meet increasing customer demand.”
The VT2 upgrade project took more than a year to complete and was undertaken while maintaining current ferry services. It follows significant investment in recent years by Stena Line in its Belfast operations, with the recent the launches of two brand new ferries on the route, Stena Edda and Stena Embla, which increased passenger and freight capacity by over a third and has now led to record traffic volumes being carried on the Belfast-Birkenhead route.