By | 2020 Newsletter week 16 | No Comments

Interview with Ettore Morace, a Well-Known Name in the Ferry Industry

Ettore Morace is a very well-known name in the ferry industry. The former managing director of Tirrenia Cin and today still shareholder of the family company Liberty Lines, following a recent experience as general manager of Balearia in Spain, decided to go back to his work of shipbroker with the company Malta Shipbrokers International Ltd, founded with his son Vittorio.

In this exclusive interview with Ferry Shipping News, the first after several years of silence, he returns to talk about the market trend, his new business and the companies he worked for.


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Mr Grimaldi Opposing Unfair State Aid to Troubled Ferry Companies

Emanuele Grimaldi, CEO of Grimaldi Group, said in an interview published by Lloyd’s List that he is not opposed to state intervention in such difficult times, but stresses that any financial aid has to be provided in accordance with existing rules, and that individual companies should not be singled out for support at the expense of more robust rivals.

The Italian shipowner is afraid that public funding of ferry companies may distort competition by “bailing out weak shipping lines at the expense of those operating in the same trades that are well capitalized” is written in the article. Otherwise, he may consider lodging antitrust complaints on behalf of operators that are not included in any financial support packages.


Grimaldi also stated that his group of companies (Finnlines, Minoan Lines, Malta Motorways of the Sea, Atlantic Container Line, Grimaldi Euromed and Grimaldi Deep Sea) did not ask for assistance from any national government.

He estimates that Grimaldi Group revenue could be down by as much as 15%, equivalent to some EUR 500 million in the coming months, but notes that this downturn will be offset by much cheaper fuel costs. With no debt on 57 of its 120 ships, very low financing costs, and healthy profit margins for many years of between 5% and 10%, “we have never been in such a strong position to weather this storm” he concluded.


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Brittany Ferries

At the end of an announcement on their website, Brittany Ferries say the newbuilt HONFLEUR will not enter service in 2020.

CTMA Cancels its 2020 Cruise Season

CTMA decided to cancel its 19th cruise season (Montréal – Îles de la Madeleine), which was scheduled to take place from June 12 to September 25, 2020 with veteran ferry CTMA VACANCIER.

DFDS Preparing for Re-opening of Cruise Ferry Routes

Kasper Moos, Head of Short Routes and Passenger, has already put together a team to start work with planning the  reopening of the Copenhagen – Oslo and Amsterdam – Newcastle routes. More in DFDS News

Greece: Fleet Reshuffling on the Piraeus-Crete Lines

Since 13 April, the Attica Group- ANEK Lines joint venture will serve the Piraeus-Crete lines with 3 vessels.

Ropax HELLENIC SPIRIT left her Adriatic service. She replaces ELYROS on the Piraeus-Heraklion-Chania route.

It is the first time that HELLENIC SPIRIT serves the Crete route. ELYROS has been laid up at Souda port (Crete).=

Likewise, Blue Star Ferries’ BLUE GALAXY has been be replaced by NISSOS RODOS on the Piraeus-Chania line.

Also, on 14 April, BLUE HORIZON was replaced by KRITI II on the Piraeus-Heraklion line.

Minoan Lines withdrew KNOSSOS PALACE from the Piraeus-Heraklion line and left active the close sisters MYKONOS PALACE and KYDON PALACE which served the Piraeus-Chania Line until recently.

All vessels will serve those lines for as long as required.

Isle of Man Steam Packet Company

Since April 15, fast craft MANANNAN carries out daytime sailings to and from Heysham.

In addition, the roro ARROW will provide the overnight freight service to the Island.

The timetable, which will remain in place for a fortnight until 29th April, will ensure all lifeline freight and passenger services are maintained.

The scheduled dry docking of ropax BEN-MY-CHREE has now been postponed.

More info on website.


After the Easter weekend, the ferries of the Bornholmslinjen, Alslinjen, Langelandslinjen and Samsølinjen started to sail again according to the regular schedule and frequency.

On the Kattegat, between Aarhus and Odden, Express 2 will double the return trips (from 2 to 4) in the coming weeks. A second fast ferry is expected to start as from 27 April. In May a third vessel might join.

Common to all the routes is that only every other place on the ferry is for sale in April and May. People are also allowed to stay in their car.

Stena Offering STENA SAGA as Hospital Ship

Stena RoRo has prepared the design and a project manager has been appointed to convert the ferry STENA SAGA into a hospital ship with space for 520 patients. Stena RoRo can convert the ferry within just a few weeks and have it ready to provide additional healthcare capacity in a corona-affected region. Contact has been established with authorities in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Germany. (press release)

Transmanche Ferries

Having already stopped carrying passengers, the Newhaven-Dieppe ferry is now limiting the remaining freight service to one round-trip per day each weekday and one each weekend.

The ferry will leave Dieppe at 1800h and return from Newhaven at 2300h from Monday to Friday. The boat will leave Dieppe on Saturdays at 1800h and return from Newhaven at 23h on Sunday.

Passengers are carried only exceptionally. Bookings for delayed repatriation or similar circumstances can be requested by telephone only.

The decisions have been taken by the Département of Seine Maritime in the light of severely reduced traffic over recent weeks.


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Italian Ports 2019 Statistics

Statistics 2019, provided by the Italian ports’ association Assoporti reveal the following trends:

  • -2.3% roro traffic in tons
  • -1.1% roro traffic in units
  • +5.1% passengers or 55,914,734 passengers. Of them, 11,969,005 were from cruise vessels, 17,724,678 from ferries and 26,221,051 were transported on the short sea ferry links and in the Strait of Messina.
  • Cruise market and short sea ferry links increased significantly (respectively +11% and +5%) while the ferry traffic was stable.


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Industry Celebrates Five-Year Anniversary of World’s First Methanol-Powered Commercial Vessel

Stena, Wärtsilä, and Methanex Corporation are proud to mark five years of successful operation of the methanol-fuelled ferry STENA GERMANICA.

She was converted to be capable of running on methanol fuel in early 2015 at Remontowa Shipyard. The ferry, with a capacity for 1500 passengers and 300 cars, was retrofitted with a first-of-its-kind fuel-flexible Wärtsilä 4-stroke engine that can run on methanol or traditional marine fuels.

“The use of methanol as a marine fuel is likely to increase in the future,” says Toni Stojcevski, General Manager, Sales & Development, Wärtsilä Marine.

(press release)


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All Aegean Ferry Services to be Subsidized

All ferry routes in the Aegean will turn into subsidized services as of April 21 for a period of at least one month in order to safeguard the connectivity of the country’s islands with the mainland as well as the sustainability of coastal shipping companies to the utmost degree.


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SILJA SERENADE to go to Naantali Shipyard for Essential Maintenance

Tallink Grupp’s vessel SILJA SERENADE, which is currently suspended from traffic in Helsinki due to the ongoing travel restrictions, will be sent to Naantali, Turku Shiprepair Yard for essential maintenance works. The technical works required for the ship’s class renewal were originally scheduled to take place this autumn, but have been brought forward. (press release)