Stena Line Stena Superfast VII Stena Plus Lounge from Belfast Port (Victoria Terminal 4) to Cairnryan (Loch Ryan Port) by Ferry

Stena Line Ferry Stena Plus Lounge from Belfast Port (Victoria Terminal 4) to Cairnryan (Loch Ryan Port)

With my return Rail & Sail ticket, I headed back from Belfast to Edinburgh with Stena Line and ScotRail after a quick 2 nights in Belfast, which was really more like 1 full day with the evening arrival and morning departure of the ferry connection with the Rail & Sail journey. I had experienced the regular Stena Superfast VII journey on my onward leg, and though I could try upgrading to the Stena Plus Lounge with inclusive food and drinks on this return leg since it was a lunchtime sailing.

National Rail offers a Rail & Sail ticket which is an all in one ticket for rail from any Scottish station, coach link between Ayr and Cairnryan, and ferry travel to Belfast (via Cairnryan) with Stena Line. Regular 26-30 Railcard concessions apply on this ticket, offering a 34% discount off adult fare, which is perfect for me to head to Belfast from Edinburgh and back by train, bus, and ferry, all in a single train ticket.

Belfast Port (Victoria Terminal 4)

The Stena Line ferry from Belfast to Cairnryan departs from Belfast Port (Victoria Terminal 4). I got here by Translink Metro Bus 96 which departs from Upper Queen Street (City Centre), with the bus departure timings matching the Stena Line ferry check-in times.

Some foot passengers were already in the terminal, presumably arriving by driving or taxi.

Queueing at the Travel Centre to check-in for my ferry.

My National Rail Rail & Sail ticket from Belfast to Edinburgh. I purchased a return ticket, so this was available to collect before my departure from the UK.

My seat reservation for the Stena Line ferry from Belfast to Cairnryan. This must be pre-booked before departure.

The Stena Line ferry boarding card is issued after checking in.

The doors to security and waiting area opened shortly after.

No further check-in was necessary at the check-in counter, just continue on.

Heading up the escalator to the waiting room.

Lots of seats are available in the waiting room while waiting for boarding.

There’s a Barista Coffee Lounge café in the waiting room if you need a quick drink or snack..

Once the ferry is ready for boarding, the glass door to the gangway opens.

Walking the long gangway to the ferry. This is elevated throughout, so there are no steps to navigate here.

Vehicles being loaded up on Stena Superfast VII’s bow.

Approaching the actual gangway to the ship.

Turning on to the gangway to the Stena Superfast VII. Goodbye, Belfast.

Stena Superfast VII

Back on the Stena Superfast VII after my onward journey with her 2 days ago.

The facilities on board Stena Superfast VII on the 3 main passenger decks. More details here.

Guest Services to book Stena Plus Lounge

As I wanted to try out the Stena Plus Lounge, I headed straight to Guest Services to check if they have a space for me. Stena Plus Lounge cannot be pre-booked by Rail & Sail passengers, and is only subject to availability once on board.

A quick tap of my credit card to get £20 poorer, and here’s my rather simple ticket for the Stena Plus Lounge, presumably with the entry code for the entrance.

Stena Plus Lounge

Turns out that the code may have been for the staff on hand, as there was nothing for me to key in at the entrance. A friendly check later, and I am in the Stena Plus Lounge within seconds.

Plenty of seats are available in the Stena Plus Lounge, which are understandably more comfortable than the regular public seats around the ship.

The 3 best tables in the Stena Plus Lounge with a middle-front view of the journey are the first to be snapped up.

I picked a small table with a front-facing window for my ride.

Complimentary snacks and refreshments are included in the Stena Plus Lounge throughout the sailing, which was my deciding factor between paying for the lounge or getting a regular lunch from Taste Restaurant.

While hot food isn’t included in the Stena Plus Lounge, the snacks do fill you up for a light lunch. Hot food can be ordered at an additional charge. Menus are available around the lounge.

The drinks section on the other hand is sufficiently extensive with coffees, teas, soft drinks, and wine all included in the Stena Plus Lounge.

some of my drinks and snacks to start the ferry ride.

Shutting the bow door once ready for departure.

Departing from Belfast Port.

The menu for mains was handed out by the waiter to each table for everyone’s consideration. I decided to skip any meals since the inclusive drinks and snacks were enough for me.

Sailing out to the Irish Sea.

There are dedicated toilets inside the Stena Plus Lounge too, so there’s no need to head out of the lounge throughout the sailing, unless you wish to purchase duty free.

The Irish Sea crossing went without a hitch, and was very comfortable inside the Stena Plus Lounge. You won’t be getting a coffee table, free WiFi, and complimentary wine on Ryanair, that’s for sure.

Sailing into Loch Ryan, a natural harbour where many shipping terminals are located in.

Passing the Stena Superfast VIII heading on the reverse leg to Belfast.

Approaching Cairnryan (Loch Ryan Port).

Announcements were made for passengers on vehicles to return to their vehicles, and the Stena Plus Lounge cleared out. Turns out that I was the only foot passenger in the lounge.

The lounge staff start cleaning up in preparation for the next sailing back to Belfast which would be immediately after this sailing clears out.

Docking at Cairnryan (Loch Ryan Port).

Heading out of the Stena Plus Lounge once announcements are made for foot passengers to disembark.

The Living Room had been emptied out as well.

Heading down the stairs to the gangway.

Disembarking from the Stena Superfast VII at the gangway. Thank you Stena Line.

Cairnryan (Loch Ryan Port)

Heading down the gangway at Cairnryan (Loch Ryan Port).

Vehicles are concurrently being offloaded from Stena Superfast VII’s stern.

Vehicles drive off immediately to their onward destinations.

My ScotRail Stena Line Rail Link Coach was already waiting at the coach bay.

Heading down the escalator to the ground floor.

Crossing the road into the passenger terminal.

Baggage reclaim is immediately inside. But with nothing to reclaim since I only have a backpack on me, I headed straight out.

The simple arrival hall at Cairnryan (Loch Ryan Port).

From here, I headed immediately to the coach bay to catch my ScotRail Stena Line Rail Link Coach on to Ayr Railway Station.

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