Grimaldi Group Enters Balearic Market Through Armas Trasmediterránea

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Antonio Armas and Emanuele Grimaldi (on the horse) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the sale of certain assets and property rights of the Spanish group in Spain, as a first step for a collaboration.

Grimaldi Group will acquire:

  • 5 ropax ferries (CIUDAD DE PALMA, CIUDAD DE GRANADA, CIUDAD DE MAHÓN, VOLCÁN DEL TEIDE and VOLCÁN DE TIJARAFE)
  • 2 two terminals in the ports of Valencia and Barcelona
  • Offices and warehouses located on the islands of Mallorca, Menorca and Ibiza.
  • The rights to operate between Mainland Spain and the Balearic Islands for the transport of goods and passengers on the sea routes Barcelona – Mahon (Menorca), Barcelona – Palma de Mallorca, Barcelona – Ibiza, Valencia – Mahon, Valencia – Palma de Mallorca and Valencia – Ibiza.
  • Various warehouses, offices and ticket offices in Valencia, Palma de Mallorca, Mahon and Ibiza.

The New TT-Line Ferries Will Be Built In Finland, After All

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Rauma Marine Constructions and Tasmanian shipping company TT-Line have finalised an agreement for the construction of two ropax ferries at Rauma shipyard.

TT-Line had to withdraw from a previous Memorandum of Understanding. The Tasmanian government wanted to explore the possibilities for local shipbuilding. Eventually the decision was taken to abandon this path.

Construction will begin in spring 2022.

The first vessel will be delivered to TT-Line in late 2023 and the second one in late 2024.

The new vessels will replace the SPIRIT OF TASMANIA I and II, both built in Finland in 1998.

DFDS Monthly: Freight Continues To Grow In March

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March 2021 (March 2020)

+11.8% freight lane metres: 3,975k (3,554k)

-77.5% passengers: 25k (112k)

Last twelve months

+0.7% freight lane metres: 41,062k (40,782k)

-79.8% passengers: 1,002k (4,963k)

  • The positive market momentum in February continued in March for the North Sea and Mediterranean volumes.
  • Volumes on the English Channel were above 2020.
  • Volumes on the new route between Ireland and France continued above expectations.
  • Baltic Sea volumes were above 2020 adjusted for the closure of the Paldiski-Hanko route.
  • The volume growth in March 2021 was boosted by Covid-19’s negative impact on volumes in the last two weeks of March 2020. This effect was largest in the Mediterranean, North Sea and Channel business units.
  • Passenger: the decrease reflects a continued negative impact from travel restrictions related to Covid-19.

Grandi Navi Veloci Acquired PRIDE OF YORK and PRIDE OF BRUGES

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MSC-controlled ferry company Grandi Navi Veloci S.p.A.is emerging as the new owner of the 1976-built ferries PRIDE OF YORK and PRIDE OF BRUGES.

Up to now owned by P&O Ferries and previously deployed on Hull-Zeebrugge/Rotterdam, the funnels of both the vessels have been repainted and Italian crew members embarked.

To be confirmed: PRIDE OF YORK is to be renamed GNV ARIES while BRUGES will become GNV ANTARES.

Malta: Two Companies on Valletta – Gozo

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After three failed attempts at issuing a call for tenders for the ferry service between the Grand Harbour, Valletta and the Mġarr Harbour, Gozo, it seems the islands will be served by two operators:

  • Virtu Ferries, with a ferry from its fleet
  • Gozo Fast Ferry Ltd, a company related to newcomer Ponte Ferries. The company has acquired two 300-pax fast ferries. The company collaborates with Malta Public Transport for a seamless, link with the bus service.
  • Starting June
  • Crossing <45 min

GetLink To Play The Environmental Cards

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In a letter to the shareholders, GetLink’s Chairman Jacques Gounon makes a clear statement: crossing the Channel by Tunnel leaves a better footprint than by ferry.

“Eurotunnel’s truck traffic is returning to normal, after the destocking at the beginning of the year and the implementation of customs controls related to the Brexit. We (Getlink) are closely monitoring attempts to bypass these controls by going through Ireland, even if this represents only a marginal flow. The ferries are organising themselves to capture these flows: that is all very well. But where is the fight against climate change? We remind carriers and especially their customers that the carbon footprint for transporting goods by this Irish route is much greater than when using our Shuttles.”

He concludes that, “We are going to put more and more emphasis on our environmental advantage: we have already made a lot of progress, but we are stepping up our efforts and will announce our climate plan at the end of May 2021.”

SHORT NEWS

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Grimaldi Adds A Third Ship On Ravenna-Brindisi-Catania

The port authority of Brindisi announced that Grimaldi Group will add a third ship on the ro-ro cargo link connecting the Apulian port with Ravenna and Catania (as from next week).

Until the end of last year the route was partly subsidised by the Italian State in favour of Tirrenia Cin and jointly operated with Grimaldi.

In January the Moby-controlled group left the space to the competitor which rapidly increased deployment of tonnage and frequency.

The next new entry on the maritime link will be the ro-ro vessel EUROCARGO VALENCIA which offers 4,400 lane metres capacity. Service becomes daily.

CADENA 3 Back Home

Roro CADENA 3 is back home in Zeebrugge, after her charter as MASSIMO MURA with Tirrenia, and after a rather long layup in Leixoes.

According to Equasis, she is owned by Cadena RoRo SA, care of CLdN ro-ro SA.

The Flensburg-built vessel will be used on the CLdN routes.

CLdN’s MELEQ To DFDS?

MELEQ will be renamed ACACIA SEAWAYS, a name that indicates an imminent future with DFDS.

Sister vessels TULIPA SEAWAYS and GARDENIA SEAWAYS both operate on Vlaardingen-Felixstowe.

MELEQ was built in Flensburg in 2017.She has a lane metre capacity of 4,000.

Blue Cruises’ NISSOS CHRISSI is almost ready for service in Crete

The conversion of the Blue Cruise’s NISSOS CHRISI – ex- RUNGHOLT- has almost been finished and the small vessel is expected to leave Atsalaki Shipyard (Perama) for Crete within the week.

She was purchased in October 2019 from German operator W.D.R. and she will probably serve the Kasteli – Gramvoussa – Balo line.

Do You Recognise The Veteran Ferry?

RED STAR 1 has been towed by tug CHRISTOS XXVII, and arrived in Tuzla, Turkey.

She was built in Lübeck in 1965 (!) as VIKING III and had a very rich career. The ferry sailed for many companies, on an amazing number of ports. What’s going to happen now is not clear yet.

Photo courtesy Christos Chatzaras / Voyager Shipspotting

Progress On The BLUE STAR MYCONOS Scrubber Conversion

Fast progress on the scrubber conversion of the Blue Star Ferries’ BLUE STAR MYCONOS

which is out of service since March 13, 2021. Her funnel is seen enlarged while she is expected to return in her daily service (Kavala-Lemnos-Lesvos-Chios-Samos-Ikaria-Piraeus line) in June.

VIDEO

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Video Of Rescue Exercise With Brittany Ferries’ GALICIA

On Monday April 12, the French “Préfecture maritime de la Manche et de la Mer du Nord” organised in cooperation with Brittany Ferries a rescue exercise. Ropax ferry GALICIA simulated a loss of propulsion, thus causing the vessel to drift 7 nautical miles north of Cherbourg.

The “Jobourg” regional operational surveillance and rescue center then coordinated the rescue operation. Involved were:

  • The Caiman Marine helicopter of the French Navy from the 33F flotilla detachment based in Maupertus-sur-Mer, in charge of deploying the assessment and response team on board the ferry.
  • The intervention, assistance and rescue tug ABEILLE LIBERTÉ, chartered by the French Navy, in charge of towing the GALICIA.
  • A drone was deployed to bring the mooring lance safely aboard the ferry.

DFDS Opens New Unaccompanied Freight Route Between Calais And Sheerness

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DFDS is opening a new route between Calais and Sheerness in response to increasing demand for additional ferry capacity for unaccompanied freight between France and the UK.

  • 1st departure is planned for 1 June 2021
  • 1 daily round trip operating 7/7
  • 1 roro ship: GOTHIA SEAWAYS (160 trailers)
  • Sheerness is located around 70km north of Dover and thus closer to the London area
  • Most of the unaccompanied freight carried today by DFDS ropaxes on Dover-Calais and Dover-Dunkirk, is expected to be transferred to the new route
  • In combination with the rail infrastructure in Calais, the market for rail solutions for freight from Italy, Spain and southern France to the UK is it expected to grow
  • Also: intermodal transport solution between Turkey and the UK by combining the freight ferry route to Sète with rail transport to Calais

Remarks

During Q4, 2019, P&O Ferries tried a roro service between Calais and Tilbury, with CAROLINE RUSS. The route was discontinued because of low customer demand and the impact of a French strike action.

In December 2020, P&O Ferries stopped carrying no-accompanied trucks on Calais-Dover.

Comments

Jean-Claude Charlo (MD, DFDS France) says in an interview to the newspaper Nord Littoral, the following:

  • DFDS took over a part of the unaccompanied traffic from P&O, after the latter announced to do accompanied only. End of February the DFDS Calais-Dover route carried 5,000 non-accompanied trailers (against 1200 same period last year).
  • Biggest issue was that time in port could not be increased, hence the decision to open a new roro service to Sheerness.
  • Theoretically non-accompanied could increase because of lack of drivers.
  • DFDS new E-Flexer COTE D’OPALE will have sea-trials on April 12. The interior finishing of the ship will be done in Europe.