Wales and Northern Ireland will be connected by a ferry route in response to strong demand for sailings, with Stena Line introducing a temporary weekend timetable between Holyhead and Belfast from 2 June, until 18 July.

One of the firm's newest ships, Stena Estrid, will operate the eight-hour sailings, carrying a combination of freight and leisure traffic.

This comes amid "very high demand" on Belfast routes to and from Liverpool and Cairnryan in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland, according to the company.

"We are delighted to be able to announce details of our new temporary service between Holyhead and Belfast," said Paul Grant, Stena Line trade director.

"The much-anticipated summer rebound for travel is beginning and we are hugely encouraged by current booking trends.

"The current travel restrictions between Britain and Ireland have created a lot of pent-up travel demand so hopefully the addition of this new route will help provide another option for people visiting friends, relatives or taking a break as well as being an attractive option for our freight customers," he added.