Ferry company Stena Line said it had received 1,700 applications from people in Ireland and the UK for 60 jobs available at the firm.

Stena Line's recent recruitment campaign "A Life Less Ordinary" had promoted the unique nature of life onboard, with 50% time-off providing a good work-life balance for staff.

People can either work a one or two-week shift and then spend equal time off.

Stena Line has undertaken the initial stage of the selection process and, for the first-time, will host two open days for prospective candidates on Monday February 14.

The open days are taking place in Belfast and Birkenhead with the latter being held onboard one of Stena Line's newest ferries, Stena Edda.

Stephen Bryden, Stena Line's Head of Onboard Sales and Services, said he was "astonished" by the public's response to the "A Life Less Ordinary" recruitment campaign.

"We have never received so many applications. Now our HR team has the challenge of how to sort and interview so many applicants, but that is a nice challenge to have," he added.

Stena Line has 37 vessels and 18 routes in Northern Europe, including routes from Dublin to Holyhead, Rosslare to Fishguard and Cherbourg and Belfast to Cairnryan and Belfast.