Ferry Shipping

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Viking Line Reports 2020: “A Difficult, Challenging Year

January–December 2020 (2019) in EUR

188.8 million (496.4) Sales

26.9 million (0.4) Other operating revenue

-49.3 million (17.4) Operating income

-3.6 million (-3.8) Net financial items

-52.9 million (13.6) Income before taxes

-42.3 million (10.8). Income after taxes

-69.4% Passengers 1,927,302 (6,300,480)

-6.2% Cargo units 125,693 (133,940)

Cargo market share of approximately 17.1% (18.4)

Comments from President and CEO Jan Hanses

  • Because of the pandemic, the Group was forced to report a loss in 2020.
  • The challenge in 2020 was to run operations when demand evaporated due to various restrictions.
  • At year-end we recorded a loss of four million passengers.
  • Of our four operating areas – cargo, passenger cars, cruise passengers and passengers in scheduled service – only cargo functioned normally.
  • Focus on cutting costs. Furlough measures.
  • State aid measures from Finland, Sweden and Estonia
  • Liquidity loans totalling EUR 38.7 M, which are backed by State guarantees.
  • Deferral of loan repayments was also obtained from Finnvera and Finlands Exportkredit Ab.

Outlook for the full financial year 2021: It is too soon to quantify the impact of all the pandemic-related issues on earnings since there is great uncertainty about the trend. As a result, no earnings forecast is provided for 2021.

Two Companies For The Melilla Public Service Contracts

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Two Companies For The Melilla Public Service Contracts

The authorities of the Spanish enclave of Melilla have awarded two public service ferry contracts (Obligación de Servicio Público). These contracts start on April 1 and last for one year.

Trasmediterranea will operate the ropax ferry service between Melilla and Malaga.

(6 round trips per week / budget of €3.9million)

Balearia has received the contract for the lines to Almeria and Motril.

(each 3 round trips per week / budget €7.5million)

This will be the first time that two different companies will operate the public service contract between the Spanish city in North Africa and the Iberian Peninsula.

Until now Trasmediterránea had always won the contests with Malaga and Almería. It will also be the first time that the route with Motril is included as a public service obligation.

Balearia will use the 2019-built HYPATIA DE ALEJANDRIA.

Trasmediterranea continues to operate the route with CIUDAD AUTÓNOMA MELILLA.

Grimaldi Looking At The Possibility To Link Ionian Islands With Brindisi

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Explaining to a local media the reorganization of the short sea network between Italy and Greece, Grimaldi Group revealed the project to launch new lines from the the port of Brindisi to the small islands of Corfù, Zante (Zakynthos) and Kefalonia.

The ropax link between Brindisi and Corfù had been already operated in the last few years, during the summer season.

Guido Grimaldi, commercial director of the short sea routes, specified that they are studying the project but all depends on the lifting of travel restrictions.

Brittany Ferries Is Extending The Suspension Of Some Services

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The move follows continued stringent travel restrictions for passengers on both sides of the Channel. Only essential travel is currently permitted, and there is little prospect of this easing in the near future.

Four ships that are currently laid-up, but which had been due to resume service in late March, will not now resume service until mid-May at the earliest.

Destination Gotland: First Passenger Shipping Company With Large-Scale Blending Of Biogas

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As the first major ferry operator in the world with both freight and passenger traffic, Destination Gotland begins with large-scale and continuous blending of biogas.

As of this week, the mixture of biogas will increase from one to ten percent, which will result in a reduction in emissions corresponding to 9,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.

In 2019 and 2020, Destination Gotland invested in two new ferries that run on LNG.  Since the vessels’ engines are built to also run on biogas, this was a crucial investment in order to be able to gradually increase the proportion of biogas in the tank.


Biogas is a renewable energy source produced from biodegradable household waste or residues from the agricultural and food industries. Biogas production is an example of how to get as much as possible out of raw materials and promote the circular economy.

The price of biogas is still significantly higher compared to natural gas, and the fuel change involves a large investment. The profit in the form of sharply reduced emissions, however, makes the investment justified, says Christer Bruzelius, CEO of Destination Gotland.

“Not Enough Cabins?” Corsica Ferries Again Rejected From Public Service Contract

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“Corsica Ferries has taken note of the decision of the Corsican Assembly to reject its offers for the next maritime public service contract (DSP 2021-2022), without even bothering to enter into negotiations,” says CEO Pierre Mattei.

He said that’s Corsica Ferries’ offer was almost € 100 million cheaper over 22 months of DSP.

“In 2019 our offer was rejected because of a missing USB-stick, and now it is because our vessels are ‘not having enough overnight sleeping facilities’,” says the CEO.

A second reason for the rejection is the fact that Corsica Ferries –in its response to the tender- wrote that the additional ferry journeys would be made by mutual agreement between the ferry company and the Assembly of Corsica. Normally it is the Assembly that imposes these additional trips, but in the pre-tender chat the Corsican Assembly said that these additional trips had to be decided by mutual agreement…. Basically, the Assembly contradicts itself.

A new transitional maritime Public Service Contract, from 1 March 2021 to 31 December 2022, between the Corsican ports and Marseille, will be voted next week by the Corsican Assembly.

Fjord1 Wins Double Ferry Route Contract

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  •  Statens Vegvesen (Norway’s Road Administration) has set Fjord1 ASA as the winner of the contract for operating the two connections Bognes – Skarberget and Drag – Kjøpsvik in Nordland.
  • The contract is for 10 years (01.12.2022 until 30.11.2032, with an 18-month extension option).
  • The route is actually operated by Torghatten Nord.
  • One of the conditions was the zero-emission character of the operation.

Brittany Ferries Sees Vaccination-Led Travel Corridors As A Solution

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As government hits its target for 15 million Covid vaccinations in the UK, Brittany Ferries says now is the time for a re-think on travel corridors.

“Vaccine roll-out is moving apace in the UK, thanks to the NHS, volunteers and support of the armed forces,” said Christophe Mathieu Brittany Ferries CEO. “While France and Spain are a little behind, the ramp-up is gaining significant momentum. We all believe that vaccines are the way out of this dreadful crisis.

So by spring we think there will be a clear case for the adoption of vaccination-led travel corridors – or in our case sea lanes – that allow holidays to go ahead this summer and for hope to return.”

Refurbishment Prepares NORRÖNA For New Consumer Behaviour

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“Passengers used to buy tickets for berths in shared 4-person cabins, but these sales have more or less disappeared. In contrast, Norröna’s 12 luxury cabins are often sold out. We have gradually got more comfortable cabins, and there is no doubt that the new 50 cabins will be highly sought-after,” says Jóhan av Reyni, Smyril Line’s maritime director.

In collaboration with naval architects Hauschildt Marine and shipyard Fayard, Smyril Line’s ropax ferry NORRÖNA has been retrofitted with more luxurious facilities.

At 8 AM on 1 March, the retrofitted ferry will set sail for Hirtshals, where the ship will resume its North Atlantic route from 6 March.

The investment is worth EUR 13 million.