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IMO’s New Regulations Turns Into A Challenge For The Greek Ferry Operators

Fleet renewal, oil crisis and the new IMO fuel regulations are gradually become a challenge for the further development of the Hellenic Coastal Lines.

More specific the IMO’s new fuel regulations for low sulphur content (3,50% to 0,50%), which will come into force on 1 January, 2020 have upset the Greek ferry operators as both ship owners and fuel companies are very anxious in order to manage to address the smooth transition to the new low-sulphur fuels in a very short timeline.

The additional cost that is expected for the Greek ferry operators is estimated to reach EUR 70 million per year, while economic analysts predict that it can even reach 100 million. All this burden will fall on the back of a domestic sector that has struggled for many years.

According to the Association of Passenger Ship Operators (SEEN) data, within the Greek Ferry Scene operate 74 ferries, 53 of which are conventional ferries and 21 high-speed crafts. From these, only ten are over 40 years old, while at the end of the next decade 31 of them will be over 40 years old. Fact which means that their replacement will be considered to be necessary.

The Chairman of the Association of Passenger Ship Operators, Mr. Michalis Sakellis, made some interesting points in order to highlight the situation within the Greek Ferry Scene:

  • It is well known that the main economic problem of almost all ferry operators, particularly in recent years lies in the constant rise in oil prices.
  • From January 1, 2020 the cost of fuel is expected to raise significantly (EUR 60-70 million per year).
  • Ferry operators should discuss with the government the possibility of reducing VAT rates to 13% or even 6% like other countries of the European Union that have ferry system. Also, they should discuss the possibility of securing European funds for the financing of public service routes, which will certainly help Greek ferry operators to finance the high costs of their ferries’ compliance to the new regulations. Otherwise there will be a potential increase in ticket fares.
  • Scrubbers cannot be installed on all Greek ferries as there are technical problems. Old ferries cannot be converted as there is no commercial logic on that. Ferry operators will not take that money back from such an investment.
  • Scrubbers will mainly be installed on ferries that have high fuel consumption. However, in that way the company will have a big investment that it has to support at any cost. So, the solution will inevitably be the VAT reduction.
  • Minoan Lines is the only ferry operator in Greece today that has installed scrubbers on its three large cruise ferries that ply on the Piraeus-Heraklion and Piraeus-Chania lines.
  • If there is no reaction with direct measures, then the Greek Ferry Scene will kneel down and the Hellenic Coastal Lines will gradually be lost. That sector contributes annually to the Greek GDP 13 billion euros or 7.3%.



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Italian Company Caronte & Tourist To Debut In Croatia With A New Regular Link

The Messina-based company Caronte & Tourist is expected to open a new maritime link in Croatia from mid-July with the ferry GIUSEPPE FRANZA which is now moored in Rijeka after a first refusal from the authorities to enter the port.

Local media report that Caronte & Tourist Isole Minori has filed a request with Croatia’s Agency for Coastal Passenger Traffic to establish a ferry line between Rijeka and Porozina, on the Cres island.

The new service should be operated from 15 July to 15 September.

The Italian company, however, has still not collected most of the required permits and documents, said Paola Vidovic, director of Croatia’s Agency for Coastal Passenger Traffic, as quoted by business news portal
Before and in order to sign the contract, Caronte & Tourist will have to collect all the required documents requested before starting the new maritime link.

The first stage of ferry market liberalization in Croatia started in 2018 and is taking this summer with some services’ concession to be granted to foreign companies.

Attempt Of The Cypriot Ministry Of Mercantile Marine To Introduce A Cyprus-Greece Coastal Link In The Summer Of 2020

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The subject of the link was discussed before the Committee on Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism, where Deputy Minister of Shipping Natassa Peylidou and Deputy Minister of Tourism Savvas Perdios were invited to attend.

The viability study of the specific ferry link is completed.

The Cypriot government will subsidy the whole operation. So, after the completion of the study the process continues with the approval of the funds that the Cypriot government will agree to give for the line.

Soon will follow the bidding process in order to find the appropriate entrepreneur to undertake this task. The Cypriot state will subsidise the link but not the commercial part.

The officials underline that the completion of that process is scheduled before the summer of 2019 while the ferry ticket will be cheaper than the airline. It is also discussed the possibility of an intermediate stop at Rhodes island. The frequency of the trip will be once a week from May to September and in the winter months once every fortnight. The trip will last 30 hours.

The port that is more likely to serve the line in Cyprus will be Limassol.


Delcomar Purchased A Double-Ended Ferry In Greece From Nea Psara

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Sardinian ferry operator Delcomar has just completed the purchase of the modern double-ended ferry ARIS III built in 2010 by Karagiorgas shipyard.
Franco Del Giudice, head of the Italian operator, confirmed to Ferry Shipping News the deal, specifying that “the vessel will be added to our current fleet, is expected to arrive at the beginning of August and is likely to be deployed on the La Maddalena – Palau routes in Sardinia. The investment for Delcomar is around EUR 6 million.”

Seller is the Greek ferry company Nea Psara which had been operating the ship on the maritime link between Oropos and Eretria and between Perama and Paloukia.

Technical details:

Year of built 2010
Deadweight 500
Draft 2.4 metres
Gross Tonnage 499
L.O.A. 83 metres
Breadth 15.7 metres
Passenger capacity 600
Cars capacity 105
Trailers capacity 20 x 12 metres
Main engines 4 x Daewoo, 4 x 720 Bhp
Speed 13,5 knots

On 12 July, Delcomar will also christen the ferry ST. CECILIA bought few months ago from Wightlink, set to be renamed NANDO MURRAU.
She just arrived in the port of Carloforte.

BAZIAS Veteran Runs Aground in Patagonia

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The ro-ro COYHAIQUE, known in Europe as BALDER VIK, BAZIAS 7, STENA TOPPER, SALAR, RIVER LUNE and HANSALAND, ran aground in Chile, where it was operating for Navimag Carga between Puerto Chacabuco and Puerto Montt. This route is one of the World’s most scenic ferry routes.

COYHAIQUE was listing to port. All crew and passengers were evacuated, however a part of the cattle cargo died.
The Captain committed suicide.
The ship’s hull was breached, and its engine room flooded. Five days after the accident the vessel was towed to Puerto Laguna.

The ship was named after the capital of the Aysén del General Carlos Ibáñez del Campo region, the least populated of Chile’s 15 regions. Lonely Planet describes the area like this: “Aysén is to outdoor enthusiasts what the Sistine Chapel is to art-lovers: a masterpiece worth the journey. This overlooked corner of Northern Patagonia juggles hanging glaciers, brooding fjords, lush rainforests and guanaco-filled steppes.”

For this region the ferry transportation is vital.

Flettner Rotors For Scandlines Ships On Puttgarden-Rødby

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Scandlines is continuing to invest in green technology.

All 16 thrusters on Scandlines’ hybrid Puttgarden-Rødby route will be replaced with new thrusters. The EUR 13 million investment will reduce underwater noise and vibration caused by the ferries, for the benefit of maritime life in the Fehmarnbelt region. In addition, the more homogeneous flow of water during navigation reduces emissions.

On the route Rostock-Gedser, Scandlines has partnered up with Rostock Port GmbH and the Fraunhofer Institute of the University of Rostock, for a project funded by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI). The aim is to make the loading processes of the hybrid ferries more efficient, in order to keep the speed and associated emissions during the sea passage as low as possible.

There are also (earlier announced) plans to mount Flettner rotor sails on the hybrid ferries of the Rostock-Gedser line, BERLIN and COPENHAGEN.

Scandlines’ blue print of its business plan foresees a future with zero emissions.

Brittany Ferries Name Next Ships

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The AF MICHELA (STENA EGERIA) will be arriving in November 2019 for a one-year charter. She will be renamed KERRY.
This ship will cover the Cork to Santander route from November 2019 to November 2020.

The company’s third E-Flexer class ship, also to be chartered from Stena RoRo, will be named SANTOñA. She will arrive in 2023 and like sister ship SALAMANCA, she will be powered by LNG.

During Summer, Baleària Puts One LNG-powered Ferry And One Re-Engined Ferry On the Menorca Route

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On 6 July, LNG-powered, 2,194 lane metre ro-pax HYPATIA DE ALEJANDRÍA did a docking test in the port of Ciutadella, using the newly built ROLON PLATA II port tug, recently acquired from Damen Shipyards.

The HYPATIA DE ALEJANDRÍA connects Barcelona with Menorca, with a stopover in Alcúdia (Northeast side of Mallorca)

This Visentini-built vessel is part of Baleària’s investment of EUR 362 million in a new generation of vessels that combine energy efficiency (thanks to LNG propulsion) with digitalization (“smart ships”). By the end of 2021 Baleària will have 9 vessels powered by LNG.

In addition, since 4 July Baleària has reinforced the route between Barcelona and Ciutadella with JAUME III, a high-speed ferry that recently got new engines. This has allowed to improve its speed and energy efficiency. Money has also been invested in the digitalisation.

JAUME III also sails on Barcelona – Ciutadella, with a stop in Alcúdia

Baleària Adds Summer Capacity On Almeria-Nador

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On 7 July, Baleària added a second ferry to the route between Almería and Nador. It is the 2008-built MARTIN I SOLER.
Until September 15, Baleària will offer between two and three daily connections from each port, with the MARTÍN I SOLER and DUBA BRIDGE.
The daily offer of seats will be 50% higher compared to the days with the maximum demand of the OPE 2018 (Operation Paso del Estrecho).

It is the third summer that Baleària operates this route, and the first that it does with two ships.

Next year MARTIN I SOLER will be remotorised with LNG as fuel.

Next year MARTIN I SOLER will be remotorised with LNG as fuel.


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Attica Holdings S.A took the delivery of the ro-ro ferry ANGLIA SEAWAYS from DFDS, for a cash consideration of EUR 12,050,000.

The vessel, built in 2000, has an overall length of 142.5 meters, service speed of 17.5 knots and a garage capacity of 1,680 lane meters or 120 unaccompanied freight units.

The vessel was renamed BLUE CARRIER 1 and is scheduled to be deployed in Attica’s domestic route network.

The vessel now flies the Greek Flag.