Stena Europe was built in 1980 as the Kronprinsessan Victoria for the Swedish company Sessan Linjen. The ship had one younger sister, the 1982-built Prinsessan Birgitta, later also sailing for Stena Line under the name of Stena Normandy. For the time she was quite a large ferry, measuring some 14.378 tons. Some 616 passengers could be ferried in cabins, while 1484 passengers more could be ferries as deckpassengers, for daytime sailings. The ferry is 149,06 meters long, 26,55 meters wide and her draft is 6,12 meters. Besides the passengers, there is space for 550 cars.
Just after the Kronprinsessan Victoria was launched, Sessan Linjen was taken over by Stena Line and the ship was completed for this company, although the sailings were managed as Stena Sessan Linjen. The names of the ships were also not altered to the naming strategy of Stena Line, they were still using their original names. The ship started sailing the Göteborg to Fredrikshavn service from the 13th of april 1981, but this service lasted only a year for her. The ship was rebuilt in Göteborg in march 1982, and during this refit more cabins were added so now there was space for 1374 passengers in cabins. After this rebuilding, she was remeasured at a tonnage of 17.062. She also did not return to her earlier service, but the ship was placed at the Göteborg to Kiel route. This time, she was purely under the management of Stena Line and no longer for the Stena Sessan Linjen. But it was not untill april 1988 that she was renamed Stena Saga in the Stena Line tradition. It was the thirth time that Stena Line used this name for a ship of the fleet. Again, extra cabins were added to the top decks and she was transferred to the Oslo to Frederikshavn route from the 16th of may 1988 onwards.
Stena Europe at one of her last arrivals to Hoek van Holland in may 1997. The picture is not of my normal quality, sadly.
The ship was again renamed in february 1994, when she recieved the name Stena Europe. The extra cabins that were added to the top deck in 1988 were removed again and she now had accomodations for 1272 passengers in cabins and 804 daypassengers. This rebuilding took place before the ship was placed at the Hoek van Holland to Harwich route, where she replaced the Stena Britannica (I). She sailed the route from the 4th of march onwards, together with the Koningin Beatrix, the former and last Stoomvaart Maatschappij Zeeland ferry. Her tonnage now was remeasured at 24.828. She sailed a very steady service, with no problems or incident whatsoever untill the beginning of june 1997. She was chartered to Lion Ferry and started sailings under the Polish flag with her homeport being Gdynia at the service between Gdynia and Karlskrona. For this, she was renamed Lion Europe. Her replacement at the Hoek van Holland to Harwich route was the HSS highspeed ferry Stena Discovery. This ship replaced both conventional carferries.
On the first of january 1998, Stena Line took over the services of Lion Ferry and the ship again was named Stena Europe. She still kept sailing the Gdynia to Karlskrona route for Stena Line. The only change came in 2000, when she was registered at the Bahamas with her homeport changed to Nassau. From march 2002, the Stena Europe was placed at the service between Fishguard and Rosslare, still for Stena Line. She had a small mishap when she lost all power near the Welsh coast at the 30th of january 2003, but furthermore she seems to be a very steady ship with not that many incidents.