The last of Stena Line’s decommissioned HSS 1500 high speed catamarans has departed Holyhead under tow for a new role in Turkey. Such an ominous scenario usually means beaching and scrapping, however the former Stena Explorer ‘s new owners say they intend to use her as a static office block in Istanbul. How long this remains the case has yet to be seen.
After some initial weather delays the vessel, since renamed One World Karadeniz, was gently coaxed from her berth, from where she had remained in lay-up since finishing operational service in September 2014, into Holyhead Bay. She was subsequently connected up stern-first to the Dutch ocean-going tug, Bluster for the three week voyage to Turkey.
During her service with Stena Line between 1996 and 2014, Stena Explorer made almost 29,000 crossings, carrying more than 15 million passengers, three million cars and over half a million freight units on the Holyhead Dun Laoghaire link.