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Moby in Talks with Rimorchiatori Riuniti Panfido for Selling Tugboat Division

Moby said in a statement to be in talks “with an experienced third-party operator for a potential divestment regarding the tugboat business unit within the approval of the Group’s restructuring plan”.

Ferry Shipping News can exclusively reveal that the third party involved in the negotiation is the Rimorchiatori Riuniti Panfido group which is also involved in the tug business in the ports of Venice, Chioggia and, in joint venture with Smit, in assistance to the Rovigo offshore regasification plant.

The statement from Moby added that “the company has been monitoring the situation closely for potential opportunities in respect of its own tugboat division since there has been a market wide consolidation for tugboat services in the Mediterranean Sea. In case of a potential deal the Company will primarily use the proceeds of any divestment to repay its existing creditors”.

Moby’s tugs are active in all the major ports in Sardinia and the related concession, due to expire in 2024, generates EUR 20 million annual revenues.

CMAL Publishes Ambitious Three-Year Corporate Plan

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CMAL has published an updated three-year corporate plan.

The plan highlights the key projects CMAL intends to undertake and outlines aspirations during the next decade to address the lack of investment in ferries and harbour infrastructure since the turn of the century.  Major investment is needed to ensure lifeline services match expectations.

Funding is a key component of the delivery of the many projects outlined in the three-year plan, and in future years.  CMAL will work closely with its sponsoring body, Transport Scotland, and Scottish Ministers to secure the necessary funding.  CMAL receives its capital funding from the Scottish Government in the form of voted loans for vessels and grant-in-aid for port infrastructure.

Of particular interest is the three-year plan for the fleet, on page 26 of the three-year corporate plan.

  • GLEN SANNOX and hull 802
  • New Islay ferry
  • New ferries for Gourock – Dunoon
  • New loch-class vessels (4 minimum)
  • Hydrogen ferry Hyseas III

Delayed Scottish RoPax Ferries: What’s Next?

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Ferguson Marine (Port Glasgow) Limited, whose Clyde shipyard came under Scottish Government ownership last year, has awarded ICE Marine Design a contract to correct and complete the design of its Hull No 801, the dual-fuel RoPax ferry GLEN SANNOX for Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd. (CMAL)

Following a detailed investigation of status of the partly-constructed vessel – including performing a laser scanning survey of technical spaces – ICE, in close cooperation with Ferguson’s new management team, carefully mapped out the design work and deliverables to be revised, updated and completed.

On 2 April 2020, CMAL has awarded a contract to KC LNG, Kosan Crisplant’s division under MAKEEN Energy, to design and install Scotland’s first LNG bunkering facilities at Uig and Ardrossan. When completed, the facilities will provide a source of LNG fuelling for the two dual fuel ferries, GLEN SANNOX and Hull 802.

FINBO CARGO Back in Service as Freight-Only Ferry

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Eckerö Line has doubled its cargo transport capacity with the reintroduction of FINBO CARGO.

After nearly 10 weeks in the Oresund Drydocks Ship Repair Yard, and an extra 450 tons of steel for ice reinforcement, FINBO CARGO entered service on 6 April, alongside FINLANDIA between Helsinki (Vuosaari) and Tallinn (exceptionally from the Old Port of Tallinn instead of the Port of Muuga).

Increasing cargo capacity between Finland and Estonia is particularly important to ensure Finland’s security of supply and transportation in the exceptional circumstances caused by the corona crisis. FINBO CARGO is not receiving financial support from the National Emergency Supply Agency.

Due to state travel restrictions, the ship will not carry passenger traffic, nor passenger vehicles for now.

Ropax FINLANDIA is also continuing to operate on an exceptional schedule 38 times a week. Pharmaceutical transports are prioritized on ships. Trucks containing medicinal supply are marked with special banners to ensure that these trucks are loaded and unloaded first.


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Thank you to all the companies and subscribers that have provided us with information regarding the impact of the virus crisis.
We have produced this overview. As things change fast, we cannot guarantee that the information is up to date. Nor is this an attempt to be complete. Please check the respective websites.


Baleària has submitted an ERTE (expediente de regulación temporal de empleo) for 30% of its workforce, which affects 544 people.

The crisis has caused that of the 32 ships owned by the company, 20 are inactive and the remaining 12 operate with reduced crews, transporting only goods and their drivers.

The company said that all April salaries would be paid as normal.

The ferries are an important lifeline for the Balearic Islands, the Canary Islands, Ceuta and Melilla.

BC Ferries

BC Ferries is adjusting the schedule on the Metro Vancouver (Tsawwassen) – Southern Gulf Islands and Victoria (Swartz Bay) – Southern Gulf Islands routes effective April 10.


  • CALAIS SEAWAYS has been laid up in Calais.
  • The Gothenburg Ro-Ro terminal will be hit by loss of business during the Covid-19 crisis. As the trade union, in contrast to other employees in Sweden, refuses to go on leave based on the Swedish Short- Time Work Allowance, management has no alternative to starting negotiations on staff reductions to bring the terminal through the Covid-19 crisis. More in DFDS News.

Hellenic Coastal Shipping “Struggles” to Avoid Collapsing

Hellenic Coastal shipping is on the verge of collapse. In the last 4 weeks, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, crews and employees were suspended, routes were stopped, ships were moored, speeds were reduced, and the majority of the ferry sailing have been cut. The situation is shocking:

  • Golden Star Ferries stopped all its sailings and its entire fleet is inactive
  • The Attica Group has stopped BLUE STAR PAROS and DIAGORAS sailings to the Aegean islands
  • BLUE STAR DELOS serve only four of seven routes
  • BLUE STAR NAXOS makes the afternoon route Piraeus-Paros-Naxos-Small Cyclades
  • BLUE STAR MYCONOS stopped one of her Monday sailings from Piraeus to Syros-Mykonos-Ikaria-Samos and then continues to Chios-Lesvos-Kavala which is subsidized only every Tuesday and Friday
  • The lines of Crete are served only by 4 instead of 7 large ferries and the Cretan ferry operators cut and resumed sailings
  • Sea Speed ​​Lines’ OLYMPUS stop sailings on the Piraeus-Milos-Santorini-Rethymnon run
  • The Rafina-Andros-Tinos-Mykonos line is served with only 3 routes per week instead of 14
  • The Piraeus-Chios-Mytilene line is served with 3 routes instead of 6
  • The Ikaria-Samos run is served with 2 routes instead of 3
  • Seajets’ SUPER JET has stopped sailings on the Piraeus-Tinos-Mykonos-Naxos-Santorini run
  • BLUE STAR DELOS and NISSOS CHIOS have reduced their speed from 25 knots to 18 knots
  • The High-Speed Crafts summer season introduction was transferred from the Easter to late May or early June, while some of them may not be launched in 2020
  • In the Patras-Italy service, there is a 35% to 40% reduction in the transportation of trucks since 70% of the production in Italy has stopped.

The Hellenic Coastal shipping is a seasonal sector and if it does not work during the summer period will not survive next year. For that reason, injections of liquidity will be needed soon as ferry companies such as Attica and ANEK Lines will need capitals to operate. On the other hand, Minoan Lines may have repaid its loans but it can also rely on the Grimaldi Group’s liquidity and its small presence in the Hellenic Coastal Shipping. The small and medium-sized ferry companies are also a step before the collapse and have to be financially supported either by the state either by their owners.

The Hellenic Ministry of Shipping, is currently working on a new package of measures which may include front-loaded financial support up to EUR 15 million, depending on the size of each company. That second package of measures is mainly based on:

  1. the aforementioned financial aid which can even reach the EUR 30 million, after the relevant estimations by the Ministries of Finance and Development are completed
  2. the expansion of the public service itinerary which will proceed as many of the popular commercial lines are not that profitable anymore
  3. the broader effort that is being made at a European level in order to ensure a broader assistance for the coastal ferry sector. However, this European financial support can only be given after the losses have been estimated completely.

Written by Spyridon Roussos


Operations on the Norwegian coast will be suspended through May 20. As of now, the first scheduled round trip departure from Bergen will be on May 21.

Irish Republic

The Irish Government is to set aside a EUR 15 million emergency package in order to ensure the continued operation of five ferry routes between Ireland and the UK, and Ireland-France.

The “public service obligation routes” are Rosslare-Cherbourg, Rosslare-Bilbao, Rosslare-Pembroke, Rosslare-Fishguard and Dublin-Cherbourg.

The ferry companies involved are Irish Ferries, Stena Line and Brittany Ferries.

The funds will cover a minimum three-month period in order to ensure the continuity of the services.

P&O Ferries

  • Larne – Cairnryan service is reducing from up to 7 sailings to up to 4
  • Hull – Zeebrugge is going from 2 ropax ships to a single ship operation.
  • PRIDE OF BURGUNDY and PRIDE OF CANTERBURY are at anchor at the Calais anchorage.
  • The company asked the government for a GBP 150 million bailout, after passenger numbers dried up. The income from its 8.4 million passengers a year normally subsidises its income from freight. The crisis has plunged P&O Ferries into a £250,000 daily loss.
  • Media reports say that owner DP World is prepared to pour money into P&O Ferries if the UK Government injects the 150 million.

Stena Line (1)

Stena Line has announced that it plans to furlough 600 employees with 150 redundancies across the UK and the Republic of Ireland.  Those furloughed maintain 80% of salaries.

The announcement of furlough and redundancies relates to both UK and Ireland shored-based and sea-based employees, including those working on vessels on the Irish Sea and North Sea. It follows a reduction of the number of sailings on several routes; several vessels have also been taken out of service.

On Monday, 16 March, Stena Line announced redundancies that will affect 950 people employed in Scandinavia. A number of these employees have since also been furloughed. Further job losses have subsequently been made in Denmark and the Baltics.

The company is evaluating its operations in all regions and does not rule out that there could be further furlough, redundancy or changes to its current sailing schedules or routes.

Stena Line (2) Plans to Close the Trelleborg-Sassnitz Route

On Saturday 14 March Stena Line suspended the operation of the ferry route between Trelleborg in Sweden and Sassnitz in Germany until further notice.

On 8 April, the Company announced plans for the permanent closure of the route, including check-in areas and bordershop in Sassnitz.

In recent years, approximately 300,000 annual passengers travelled via Sassnitz-Trelleborg, while freight volumes and train traffic on the route have declined. Due to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and following travel restrictions in Europe Stena Line has experienced a large decline in travel bookings and freight volumes. It is estimated that passenger figures will not recover until well into 2021. As a result of the significant reduction in revenue, the Company is forced to take tough decisions in order to cut costs and secure its vital supply lines of essential goods across Europe.

Stena Line has initiated discussions with the worker´s council (Betriebsrat) in Germany. The ferry SASSNITZ is laid up in Port of Mukran, Sassnitz, until further notice.

Stena Line is currently operating two ferry routes between Sweden and Germany, which are primarily carrying freight, and with a reduced passenger capacity.

  • Trelleborg- Rostock with MECKLENBURG-VORPOMMERN and SKÅNE, 40 departures per week.
  • Gothenburg-Kiel with STENA SCANDINAVICA and STENA GERMANICA, 12 departures per week.

Viking Line

Viking Line will interrupt passenger traffic arriving to Finland on ships leaving on or after 11 April, except freight and freight traffic. The limit is valid until 13 May

The restriction does not apply to passenger traffic leaving Finland.

Passenger traffic is possible on shipping routes between Åland and continental Finland.


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New Pedestrian Bridge in Tallinn

An agreement was signed on Monday, April 6, between the Port of Tallinn and KMG Inseneriehituse AS for the design and construction of a new pedestrian bridge in the Old City Harbour. The bridge will connect ​​Terminals A and D and will open to ensure the operation of the Old City Marina.


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French Shipowners Ask for Maritime Marshall Plan

During his last days as chairman of the French Shipowners Association (Armateurs de France), Brittany Ferries chairman Jean-Marc Roué asked President Macron to save the French flag. “Mr President, you have repeatedly said that we are in war. Well, let’s make together a ‘Marshall Plan’ to save our industry.”

Now that ‘Brussels’ allows for more support, Mr Roué wants to start a Governmental rescue operation as soon as possible.

Read the letter here (in French).

A new chairman has been elected: Jean-Emmanuel Sauvée (Ponant).


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Corona Crisis Package Can Help Shipping to Become Greener

In December 2019, Norway’s Vestland said it wanted to have emission-free fast ferries by 2022.

The Parliament has now decided to step up the focus on green shipping, after maritime cluster ‘NCE Maritime CleanTech’ president Hege Økland was in touch with several politicians.

The Parliament asks the Government for more money for different environmental projects