DFDS March volumes: passengers boosted by Easter

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March volume numbers are compared to 2023 impacted by most of the Easter holiday period falling in March this year compared to April in 2023. In general, this increases passenger volumes and decreases freight volumes compared to 2023 for the month.

Ferry – freight:

  • Total volumes in March 2024 were 2.7% above 2023 and down 2.5% adjusted for the addition of Strait of Gibraltar routes in 2024 and closure of the Calais-Tilbury route in 2023.
  • North Sea volumes were below 2023 driven by lower UK volumes following a reduced number of sailings due to weather conditions and the Easter timing difference versus 2023.
  • Mediterranean volumes were above 2023 driven by higher volumes on all routes.
  • Channel volumes were below 2023 as Dover Strait volumes were reduced by the Easter timing difference versus 2023.
  • Baltic Sea volumes were above 2023.
  • For the last twelve months 2024-23, the total transported freight lane metres decreased 3.6% to 39.3m from 40.8m in 2023-22. The decrease was 4.4% adjusted for the addition of Strait of Gibraltar routes and the Calais-Tilbury route closure.

Ferry – passenger:

  • The number of passengers in March 2024 were 83.1% above 2023 and up 38.4% adjusted for the addition of Strait of Gibraltar routes. The adjusted increase was driven by the Easter timing difference.
  • The number of cars were 67.5% above 2023 and up 29.6% adjusted for Strait of Gibraltar.
  • For the last twelve months 2024-23, the total number of passengers increased 21.6% to 5.0m compared to 4.1m for 2023-22. The increase was 12.7% adjusted for the addition of Strait of Gibraltar routes.

Turkish NGO to launch a relief convoy to Gaza – three ships purchased

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Local media report that a Turkish NGO called The IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation has decided to acquire three ships and launch a relief convoy to Gaza.

IHH currently operates relief voyages from Turkey to Egypt for cross-border transport into Gaza, but this new mission is advertised as an all-water route. It would be the second time that the conservative Islamic group has tried to transit through the Israeli naval blockade around Gaza – and the first time ended in violence.

IHH has acquired three vessels for its “Freedom Flotilla,” reflagged them and changed their names.

It is planning to depart for Gaza by the end of this month with:

The NGO has launched a fundraising appeal to help pay for the vessels and their cargo.

Moby and Ichnusa Lines to jointly operate between Sardinia and Corsica again

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The Region of Sardinia announced that Moby and Ichnusa Lines have been authorized to jointly operate exclusively on the line between Sardinia and Corsica from April 1st to October 31st. This means there will be no change in the summer of 2024 on the maritime link between Santa Teresa di Gallura and Bonifacio.

In more detail, for the upcoming summer season, Moby will be responsible for 62.5% of the total number of scheduled trips, while the remaining 37.5% will be carried out by Ichnusa Line. The Sardinia region requested a minimum of 4 pairs of trips per day with a ferry having a minimum transport capacity of 200 passengers and a garage with at least 190 lane meters, 50 of which are to be used for the transport of commercial vehicles.

The vessels deployed will be the Ichnusa (capacity of 350 passengers and 50 cars) and the Giraglia (400 passengers and 100 cars) for Moby.

Thessaloniki Port Authority S.A.: financial results for the financial year 2023

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  • Consolidated revenue increased to MEUR 85,9 from MEUR 85,3 for 2022.
  • The container terminal posted a significant growth in revenue of over 12%
  • Similar growth was posted in the real estate sector and in the cruise & ferry passenger traffic by 18,2% and 31,3% respectively (to € 3,9 mil. and € 0,9 mil. respectively), while conventional cargo terminal posted a decrease in revenue by 21,5% (to € 20,2 mil.).
  • +1.9% Gross Profits
  • +3.4% EBITDA MEUR 34,1
  • +8.9% Net Profits after taxes MEUR 20,3
  • The Capital Expenditure (CapEx) plan for 2023 exceeded MEUR 9,2 and mainly involved a new Cruise Terminal “Alexander the Great”, restoration of functional depths, repair and upgrade of quays, power substation upgrades, procurement of loading and unloading equipment and ISPS security systems.

Source: https://www.thpa.gr/dt-170424-en/

Interferry and IMO conclude successful Africa Ferry Safety Seminar in Dar es Salaam

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A collaborative effort to elevate ferry safety standards in Africa concluded April 17th, after a two-day intensive seminar co-hosted by Interferry and the International Maritime Organization. Over 100 participants from across the African ferry industry and Interferry´s global network convened in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, united in the wake of recent regional tragedies.

The association fielded a delegation of 15 seasoned professionals from its worldwide operator and supplier members, whose purpose was to listen, exchange experience and share best practices on both operational and regulatory levels. Open discussions focused on critical areas impacting safety, including ticketing and passenger counting, cargo loading and stowage, vessel design and classification, insurance and financing, management culture and technical management, incident reporting, and the crucial role of political will in driving safety improvements.

Stena Line adds Bore Song on Dublin – Liverpool

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Stena Line has introduced a larger RoRo ship, Bore Song, on the Dublin – Liverpool (Birkenhead) route. The freight only vessel will increase capacity on the route by 30%.

Stena Line’s Dublin-Liverpool dedicated freight service has been operational since 15th February 2024 with cover ships serving customers temporarily whilst the company searched for a longer-term solution.

Bore Song entered service on the route Sunday 14 April on the 18:00 sailing from 12 Quays in Birkenhead.  With capacity for almost 3,000 lane metres of freight, the ship provides significantly more space and is well suited for the demand for unaccompanied freight on this route.

With the addition of the new vessel to the Irish Sea fleet, Stena Line will now restore capacity on the Rosslare – Fishguard and Rosslare – Cherbourg routes.

The worlds two largest hydrogen fuelled ships to be built in Norway

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Torghatten Nord finally confirmed that the Norwegian yard Myklebust Verft will build the two hydrogen ferries that will cross the Vestfjord between Bodø and Lofoten.

Each of the two 117m long ferries will have a capacity of 120 cars and 599 passengers. As the ferries will operate in the outer Vestfjorden in Lofoten, one of the longest and most challenging ferry routes in Norway, they are designed with closed car decks and a special hull design for operate in exposed waters. The vessels incorporate new technology, ensuring safety and comfort for passengers and crew without compromising.

The ferries will be the world’s largest hydrogen-powered vessels and will feature the largest hydrogen installation ever installed on a ship. Each vessel will have 6400 kW of fuel cells with associated auxiliary systems. The onboard hydrogen is stored in compressed form.

The ferries are designed for 100% zero-emission and feature a multi-hybrid propulsion system with hydrogen-electric as the primary mode and diesel-electric as the secondary mode.

Source, more info and rendering: Norwegian Ship Design

German, Belgian and Dutch ports: Europe, join forces to preserve the industry

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For years, the conversation between ports has been dominated by the question of who is the biggest. Nowadays, however, when the CEOs of Port of Antwerp-Bruges, North Sea Port, Duisburger Hafen AG and Port of Rotterdam sit around the table, we no longer talk about tonnes of cargo, but about how we can unite to secure a sustainable future for industry in Europe. On the eve of the European industry summit on 17 and 18 April, we call on European government leaders to do the same and find a solution to the deteriorating position of our industry.

Continue to read here

Another ferry for Magic Sea Ferries

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On April 10, 2024, Magic Sea Ferries announced the purchase of the high-speed craft Magic 1 (formerly Majestic Joy) from the Singapore-based fast ferry operator Majestic Fast Ferry.

The ship was delivered on March 15 and is expected to arrive in Greece by May 15, 2024. It will likely be introduced on the Piraeus – Agia Marina (Aegina) – Hydra route.

The vessel was built in Indonesia in 2023. The ship has a gross tonnage of 397, is 39 metres long, and 10 metres wide. It has a capacity for 317 passengers and is equipped with 2 x MTU 16v 2000M72 engines (2,880 kW – 32 knots).

Magic Sea Ferries also owns the larger HSC Cat 1 (1994), which will be introduced on the Lavrion-Kea-Kythnos-Serifos-Sifnos-Milos route this summer.

Photo: Magic Sea Ferries

AML with two highspeed crafts on the Spain-Morocco routes

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It appears that AML may operate with two high-speed crafts on the Spain – Morocco routes, thereby competing with DFDS.

The Highspeed 3 has been renamed Morocco Express 1 (2000), following the recent sale of Attica Holding’s stake in Africa Morocco Link (AML) to Stena Line. The vessel is currently undergoing significant refitting and upgrades at the Perama repair zone since October 2023, and it is expected to serve on the Tarifa – Tanger Ville line.

Additionally, the HSC Caldera Vista (1991) will be the second vessel to join the Western Mediterranean service, as it was recently chartered from Seajets. The ship has already adopted AML’s livery, and it is likely to be renamed.

Photos: Kostas Papadopoulos