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Ferry Safe: Taking to Water Seen As Safer Than Travelling by Plane, Train or Coach

Research from industry body Discover Ferries, reveals that more Brits would feel safe from Coronavirus infection travelling by ferry than by aeroplane, train or coach.

In total, 32% said they would feel safe from Coronavirus infection travelling by ferry. That compares with 24% for planes, 30% for trains and 26% for coaches. Discover Ferries is encouraging those who are still concerned to visit

to learn more about measures being taken on board.

“It is encouraging to see that Brits consider ferry travel to be the safest form of public transport during the pandemic,” said Abby Penlington, director of Discover Ferries. “What worries us more is the significant proportion who remain unconvinced and may therefore be delaying travel plans as a consequence.”

Operators have been working hard to implement and communicate strict COVID safe measures on board. However, the survey also shows that factors outside the control of the industry are adding to travellers’ anxiety, the most significant being quarantine restrictions. When considering future holidays abroad, just under three quarters of Brits (74%) say they are concerned about the possibility of having to quarantine when they arrive at their destination and 65% are concerned about the possibility of having to quarantine when they return home.

“We believe that the government should adopt a more regional approach to travel sanctions. It should also carefully consider allowing testing to shorten quarantine times, once testing capacity is available. This would bring greater stability to the industry and, in turn, reassure passengers who wish to book an autumn get-away or their 2021 break now.”

ESPO Calls For An FuelEU Maritime Initiative that Combines Clear Goals with Support for Innovation and Investments In the Maritime Sector

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As part of the ongoing discussions on the future FuelEU Maritime Initiative, the European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) expresses the commitment of European ports to play their part in helping the shipping sector decarbonise. The full ESPO position on the FuelEU Maritime Initiative is available here.


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Stena is developing a solution to use recycled batteries in charging stations at ports

Stena is developping a new type of energy storage, similar to very large powerbanks. It will be essential for the quick charging of electric ferries in the future. The project is part-financed by the EU and will, among other things, investigate how used batteries from the transport sector can be reused for energy storage in ports.

“Stena Elektra – a fully electric ferry – is already on the drawing board. In order to succeed, we need to solve the issue of how to quickly charge a ferry. Energy storage at ports using recycled batteries, is a very interesting and sustainable alternative for the future”, says Per Wimby, project manager for electrification at Stena Teknik.

“Rapidly charging a large ferry requires a huge amount of energy in a short time and it’s not certain that the electricity grid will be able to deliver it. Local energy stores at ports could offer a great solution to this problem”, says Rasmus Bergström, Managing Director of Batteryloop (a subsidiary of the Stena Recycling Group).

The collaboration includes several Stena companies – Batteryloop, Stena Recycling, Stena Rederi and Stena Line – the ports of Gothenburg and Kiel and the accreditation company DNV GL. The project will be carried out over two years and be part-financed by INEA, the EU’s Innovation and Networks Executive Agency.

Fincantieri: Dry Dock Works Start for Experimental Vessel Zeus

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The keel-laying ceremony of ZEUS – Zero Emission Ultimate Ship, an experimental fuel cell-powered marine vessel, was held on 23 September at Fincantieri shipyard in Castellammare di Stabia. The vessel, first of its kind in the world, is to be delivered in 2021.

Measuring about 25 meters in length, ZEUS will serve as a floating laboratory to investigate fuel cell behavior in natural settings. Fuel cells are electrochemical devices that convert the chemical energy of hydrogen directly into electricity with no thermal combustion.

ZEUS will be fitted with a hybrid engine (2 diesel generators and 2 electric motors), which will be used as conventional propulsion system. Moreover, it will be equipped with a 130 kW fuel cell system powered by about 50 kg of hydrogen contained in 8 metal hydride cylinders, using technologies already applied on board submarines, and a battery system which can guarantee a zero-emission navigation range of 8 hours at a speed of approximately 7.5 knots.

The propulsion system is designed to power the engines in four different ways:

  • Zero Noise, using only lithium batteries, guaranteeing navigation range of 4 hours at a speed of 4 knots;
  • Zero Emission, with electric power supplied by the fuel cells;
  • Navigation using diesel generator while batteries are being recharged;
  • Navigation using diesel generator for transfers and a navigation range of 60 hours at 9 knots.


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No Corsican Regional Ferry Company before 2025

A Corsican public-private partnership (SEMop) ferry company was supposed to be created on 1 January 2021, to provide the ferry services between Marseille and the five ports of Corsica.

This new approach was due to replace the actual public service delegation (PSD) system.

SEMop would have as shareholders the Corsican Community (50.1%) and private operator(s) (49.9%), for a duration of seven years.

Only one private operator showed up: the alliance Corsica Linea – La Méridionale.

The idea of creating a SEMop is being abandoned. Why?

  • The shipowners’ group was asking EUR 776 million for 7 years. Too much says Corsica, who offered EUR 570 million.
  • The coronavirus outbreak has a substantial impact on traffic. The offer presented by Corsica Linea – La Mériodionale is no longer in line with the real needs.

What now? Probably the solution will be to extend the actual PSD one year… or more.