DFDS: Freight Volumes Continued Growing In July

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Ferry – freight:

  • Total volumes in July 2021 were 3.3% above 2020.
  • The volumes transported in July 2021 by the North Sea, Baltic Sea and Mediterranean business units were well above July 2020 supported by investments in new and more efficient capacity. Volumes for these business units were also above 2019.
  • Channel volumes were below 2020, adjusted for the Dunkirk-Rosslare route opened at the beginning of 2021. This follows an overall market decrease and reintroduction of capacity that was taken out of the market by a ferry operator in 2020 (=P&O).

Ferry – passenger:

  • The total number of passengers in July 2021 was 50.7% below 2020 reflecting the continued tight travel restrictions as well as a temporary easing of restrictions in July 2020.
  • Baltic Sea’s passenger volumes continued to be above 2020.

XRTC 20th report about the Hellenic Coastal Shipping

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According to the XRTC report, the Hellenic Coastal Shipping requires responsibility, analysis and forecasting of the future conditions as well as decision making that will allow ferry companies to be viable.

Some of the reports’ main findings are the following:

  • The pandemic allowed the ferry sector’s chronic economic problems to emerge, as they have been overshadowed by the steady increasing demand in the past four years 2016-2019.
  • The Association of Hellenic Passenger Shipping Companies (SEEN) estimated that passenger traffic in the first half of 2021 will be lower compared to 2020, both on the domestic and Greece-Italy lines.
  • In 2021, fuel prices dramatically increased affecting negatively the ferry operators’ financial results. It is estimated that at the end of 2021, the average fuel price will have increased by 60% -70% compared to 2020.
  • In 2030, 32.7% of the Hellenic ferry fleet will be older than 40 years, which means that in the next 10 years 50% of the existing ferry fleet will have to be replaced.
  • The maintenance costs for ferries over 35 years old are prohibited, while smaller ferries suitable for the Hellenic Coastal Lines are not available for sale in the International Market.
  • The cost of building new ships will be high, mainly due to the new EU environmental standards.
  • The renewal and upgrade of the Greek Ferry Fleet requires 2.6 to 3 billion euros over the next decade. Also, the upgrade of the existing newer ferries needs an additional cost of 100 million euros.
  • The current decade, until 2030, is a crucial period for the ferry companies in order to comply with the new business environment. New financial tools will be provided by the EU, in the context of its policy regarding the environment and sustainable development. Also, new ESG standards will impose in the near future a new management model for the ferry companies.

About the ferry operators the report underlines the following:


  • is the largest Greek Ferry Operator, the third largest ferry brand in the Mediterranean and among the ten largest in Europe.
  • It owns 30 ships (average age 20 years) -plus a chartered one (bare boat)- and operates in Greece (Cyclades, Dodecanese, Crete, North-Eastern Aegean, Saronic and Sporades) as well as on the international Greece – Italy lines (Ancona-Bari).
  • Piraeus Bank holds 11.8% of Attica Group shares and 31% of Marfin Investment Group (MIG) shares, which controls Attica.
  • The Group’s traffic figures has been reduced in the last two years but is still resilient, investing its capitals for newbuildings.

ANEK Lines

  • presents a negative net position
  • the company will probably face a financial dead-end, or Piraeus Bank and its shareholders will be forced to sell ships in order to protect the company from the bank loans they have granted to the company in the past. The case of selling the company is also possible.
  • It owns 7 ships plus 2 ships under long-term charter (average age 30 years). They operate mainly on the Adriatic Sea (Ancona, Venice), Crete (Chania, Heraklion), Dodecanese and Cyclades.
  • Piraeus Bank holds 28.12% of Anek Line shares, while VARMIN SA (Amalia-Anastasia Vardinogianni) is its second largest shareholder.

Minoan Lines

  • has zero bank lending and access to the Grimaldi group.
  • is not unaffected by the pandemic, recording losses in 2020.
  • it owns 4 ships (average age 18.3 years) and serves on the Piraeus-Crete lines (Heraklion and Chania) as well as on the seasonal Heraklion – Cyclades line.

Other Ferry Operators

  • Seajets (Marios Iliopoulos Interests) evolved into the largest private Greek shipping company.
  • It owns 17 ships (15 high-speed crafts plus 2 ferries), without counting its recent 2021 purchases.
  • Its ships serve North Aegean, Kythira, Antikythira, Gythio, Kissamos, Thessaloniki – Sporades – Evia – Sitia (Crete)- Dodecanese and Rethymnon (Crete) – Santorini lines.
  • Alpha Lines (Antonis and Vassilis Agapitos interests) founded in 2020 and serve on the Piraeus-Saronic Gulf Islands line (Poros, Hydra, Spetses) with Speed ​​Cat I.

Spyridon Roussos

Finnlines Group Performs Well in H1

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The Finnlines Group’s key figures for January–June 2021 (compared with same period last year) were:

+14.6% Revenue = EUR 270.8 million

+14.4% Result = EUR 36.3 million

EBITDA = EUR 71.0 million

  • Improved financial performance regardless of the fact that passenger services remained subdued due to Finland’s tight Covid-19 related travel restrictions
  • Finnlines’ profitability has improved during Q2, mainly due to increased cargo volumes

+9.5% cargo units = 391,000

+50% cars = 90,000

+0.4% passengers = 228,000

Remark: The first new ultra green hybrid ro-ro vessel will be delivered this autumn and two others will follow in early 2022. In addition, two eco-efficient Superstar ro-pax vessels will be delivered in 2023 and the construction of the first Superstar ro-pax vessel started in June, while the construction of the second is scheduled to start in October. On the whole, the Programme comprises a total of five new vessels, which are all hybrid and state-of-the-art vessels from the environmental point of view.

Tallink Grupp to Increase Share Capital and to Conduct a Public Offering of New Shares

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  • Intention to increase the company’s share capital by up to EUR 31.5 million
  • Intention to conduct a public offering of new shares
  • Subscription period is intended to be 18 August – 1 September 2021 (including)
  • Up to 66,988,204 new ordinary shares
  • In case of oversubscription, the company may increase the number of shares offered by 10%, i.e. up to 73,687,024 shares, as a result of which the company’s share capital would be increased by up to EUR 34.6 m
  • Intended issue price per one new share is 0.47 euro per one share, which corresponds to the accounting value of the share, i.e. there is no issue premium.

AS Infortar, the largest shareholder of the company, holding approximately 39% of all the shares of Tallink Grupp, has issued a subscription guarantee to the company under which it undertakes, unconditionally and irrevocably, to subscribe for the new shares (if offered publicly as described above) in the total value of up to EUR 15 million.

Changes in Finnlines’ Management: Marco Palmu Appointed as Head of Passenger Services

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Marco Palmu has been appointed Head of Passenger Services as of 1 September 2021. He will join  Finnlines Group’s Board of Management and will report to Emanuele Grimaldi, President and CEO, Finnlines Plc.

Marco Palmu joins Finnlines from Tallink Silja Oy, where he has most recently worked as Commercial Director. He has an extensive background from shipping and passenger business. [LinkedIn]

Ongoing Travel Restrictions Continued to Impact Tallink Grupp Financial Results in Q2 2021

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Key figures Q2

  • +10.2% passengers
  • +6.0% cargo units
  • +22.7% cars
  • +32.5% unaudited consolidated revenue = EUR 86.1 million.
  • unaudited EBITDA = EUR 4.4 million (EUR 2.4 million in Q2 2020)
  • unaudited net loss amounted to EUR 24.3 million (net loss of EUR 27.4 million in Q2 2020).
  • Revenue from the company’s route operations (core business) increased by EUR 9.7 million and amounted to EUR 66.1 million.
  • Some of the other activities positively contributing to revenue increase: short-term charter of SILJA EUROPA, various retail activities, including also Burger King operations and launch of the COVID testing service on board.
  • Investments in Q2 amounted to EUR 3.1 million (EUR 14 million in Q2 2020). Due to the changed economic environment and suspension of vessel operations, ship-related investments were kept to minimum and only critical maintenance and repair works were performed.
  • Investments were also made in the development of the online booking and sales systems as well as other administrative systems and in relation to the opening of Burger King restaurants.
  • At the end of Q2, the Group’s liquidity buffer remains strong at EUR 116.7 million (EUR 104.9 million at 30 June 2020) and the agreement by the Group at the end of the quarter with its financial partners on the amendment and the prolongation of the waivers of financial covenants and the postponement of principal payments under existing loan agreements, has provided further alleviation for the Group during the challenging times.
  • Shareholder confidence remains strong with the number of shareholders at the end of Q2 2021 being more than double compared to the end of 2019 and totalling 28,715 (13,670 at the end of 2019), out of whom more than 7,000 are Finnish FDR holders.

Ponte Ferries Forced to Postpone the Start of its Ferry Operations

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“Last minute legal challenge forces us to delay the start of our Malta-Sicily service,” says a press release from Ponte Ferries.

The new ferry company says it has been forced to delay launch of its ferry service to Sicily due to a last-minute legal challenge with Sicilian authorities by another competing operator, which objected to Ponte’s use of the Port of Augusta.

In another press release, competitor Virtu Ferries denies. “Ponte Ferries have once again had to delay their ferry service, causing their clients much angst. This time they are seeking to conceal from their responsibility by seeking to shift the blame on Virtu Ferries, alleging that we have made a last-minute legal challenge. Virtu Ferries made no such, or indeed any other, challenge.”

Like Ponte Ferries, Virtu Ferries applied for berthing facilities at the Port of Augusta.

Neither Ponte nor Virtu had been given the green light to start ferrying passengers to Augusta.

Virtu Ferries lands its ferry in Pozzallo, south of Sicily.

Augusta is closer to the Strait of Messina.

A New Fast Ferry To Be Built in Vietnam for Degage Group

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Austal Australasia Pty Ltd has been awarded a €20.5 million contract to design and build a 66m high-speed catamaran ferry for The Degage Group of French Polynesia.

Work will commence on the new ferry in August 2021 at Austal Vietnam, with a scheduled delivery in the first half of 2023.

Over two passenger decks, the vessel can accommodate 574 passengers, with an additional 80 seats available on an external sun deck. Crew accommodation includes 7 two-berth cabins and 2 single-berth cabins.

The vessel has four passenger access ramps and can carry up to 16 tonnes of cargo loaded via two cranes.

To be fitted with four diesel engines and four waterjets, as well as Austal’s Motion Control System (including active interceptors and T-foils) and the latest Marinelink and Marinelink-Smart programs, the new ferry will have a contracted top speed of 35.8 knots and a range of 360 nautical miles.

Austal has previously designed and built five vessels for The Degage Group, comprising two 69 metre monohull cruise ships (Austal Hulls 172 and 173), a 56 metre vehicle passenger catamaran ferry (Austal Hull 266), an 80 metre vehicle passenger catamaran ferry (Austal Hull 201) and a 49 metre vehicle passenger ferry (Hull 421).

The new ferry will operate as the APETAHI EXPRESS, between Papeete (Tahiti) and Vaitape (Bora Bora).

Stena RoRo & Crowley to Assist United States Maritime Administration (MARAD) in Acquiring Vessels for their Ready Reserve Force

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Crowley Maritime Corporation’s Solutions business unit has been awarded a multi-year contract for Vessel Acquisition Management (VAM) by the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD).

Stena RoRo is included in Crowley’s project team, together with Serco and LCE (Life Cycle Engineering).

Stena RoRo will provide expertise related to market intelligence in the vessel selection process.

Stena RoRo will also act as broker within the VAM programme and support Crowley & MARAD with the conclusion of contracts for identified candidate vessels fulfilling the operational requirements set by MARAD.

The RRF currently consists of 41 vessels whereof 33 are Deepsea RoRos. A key objective in the VAM programme is a reduction of the overall age of the fleet and increase of ship reliability.

DFDS Welcomes New Ferry CÔTE D’OPALE to the Channel

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E-Flexer CÔTE D’OPALE started to operate on the Dover-Calais route on 4 August.

The CÔTE D’OPALE can carry 3,100 lane metres of freight, making it the longest ferry on the Channel, and has space for up to 1,000 passengers and crew. It replaces CALAIS SEAWAYS.

The new ferry offers the largest duty-free shopping experience on any cross-Channel ferry. The shop stretches across 1,100 square metres. It features separate ‘wings’ for each product category on offer, including perfume and cosmetics, wine and spirits, and electronics.

In addition, the ferry has a Premium Lounge, which offers an exclusive, laid-back space for passengers to enjoy a peaceful crossing, and three dining areas. The 7 Seas restaurant and Lighthouse Café are for leisure travellers.

Commercial drivers have their own dedicated area in the Road Kings lounge and restaurant, with showers and rest areas specially designed for drivers.