MS Stena Pioneer

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Ms stena pioneer.jpg
Stena Pioneer
Name: 1975-1998: Bison
1998-2004: European Pioneer
2004-present: Stena Pioneer
Operator: 1975-1989: Pandoro
1989-1993: B&I Line
1993-1998: Pandoro
1998-2004: P&O Irish Sea
2004-present: Stena Line
Port of registry: 1975-1997: London,  United Kingdom
1997-present: Hamilton 22x20px Bermuda
Route: 1995-present: Fleetwood - Larne
Builder: J.J. Sietas Shiffswerft, Hamburg
Identification: IMO number: 7361570
General characteristics
Length: 140.81 m (462 ft 0 in)
Beam: 23.02 m (75 ft 6 in)
Draught: 4.70 m (15 ft 5 in)
Installed power: 2 x Klöckner-Humboldt-Deutz 12M540
Speed: 18.5 Knots
Capacity: 76 passengers

MS Stena Pioneer is a ferry operated by Stena Line between Larne, Northern Ireland and Fleetwood, England. The ferry does carry passengers but it is mainly freight that is carried.


The Stena Pioneer was built in 1975[1] as the Bison. Initially ordered by Stena Line The vessel was sold before entering service to P&O subsidiary Pandoro.

To cope with the increased traffic on the Fleetwood - Larne route the Bison was sent to the River Tyne in 1980 for lengthening. The vessel was cut in two and a new 15 meter section added[2].

In 1989 the Bison was chartered to B&I Line for 4 years and placed on the Dublin - Liverpool route.

On return from her B&I Line charter the Bison was rebuilt to meet the latest SOLAS requirements. This involved adding sponsons increasing the vessels breadth by 4 meters.[3]. Following this rebuilding the vessels seakeeping was badly effected. To cure this the Bison was sent to Cammell Laird in 1995 to have additional weight in the form of an extra vehicle deck added to the stern.

In 1998 Pandoro merged with P&O European Ferries (Felixstowe Ltd.) to create P&O Irish Sea. The Bison was renamed European Pioneer

In 2004 and the ship passed into the hands of Stena Line.[4] and was renamed Stena Pioneer.

Current service

The Stena Pioneer and her sisters Stena Leader and Stena Seafarer take 8 hours to complete the journey but can take up to 12 hours depending on tide depths at Fleetwood.[citation needed]


The Stena Pioneer and her sisters are each over 30 yeas old. Stena Line currently have no plans to order new ships for the Fleetwood - Larne route.


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