Tallink Grupp signs two long-term charter agreements

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Vessel: STAR

Chartered to: Irish Continental Group / Irish Ferries

As OSCAR WILDE she will enter service on the Rosslare / Pembroke route in early June 2023, replacing the chartered BLUE STAR 1.

The charter agreement has been signed for 20 months with the possibility to extend the charter by 2+2 years and purchase option.


Chartered to Bridgemans Floatel LP/Bridgemans Services Group LP

The ferry is currently housing Ukrainian refugees in Tallinn since April 2022 as part of a charter agreement with the Estonian government. She will be chartered to Bridgemans from 1 July 2023 as accommodation vessel in Canada.

Overview of Tallink vessels chartered out

“Chartering of Tallink vessels has been and will continue to be an important part of business model,” said CEO Paavo Nõgen.

  • continuing economic uncertainties
  • low consumer confidence
  • significant pressure of increasing costs, such as the pay increases resulting from the recently signed new collective agreement
  • the slower than expected recovery of the passenger numbers
  • reduced demand

DFDS March volumes: freight in line with expectations

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Ferry – freight

  • Total volumes in March 2023 were 12.0% below 2022.
  • Volumes were 6.1% below 2022 adjusted for closure of the Izmir-Tarragona route and Channel that is impacted by a market decrease and overcapacity.
  • North Sea volumes were below last year due to mainly fewer volumes between the Netherlands and the UK following an expectedly temporary drop in Continental vegetable and fruit volumes caused by high energy prices.
  • Mediterranean volumes were above last year adjusted for the closure of the Izmir-Tarragona route.
  • Channel volumes were below last year due to a continued market decrease, suspension of sailings by P&O Ferries in March 2022, and a negative impact from the entry of a third ferry operator, Irish Ferries.
  • Baltic Sea volumes remained negatively impacted by the war in Ukraine.
  • For the last twelve months 2023-22, the total transported freight lane metres decreased 6.0% to 40.8m from 43.4m in 2022-21. The decrease was 2.5% adjusted for the closed Izmir-Tarragona route and Channel.

Ferry – passenger

  • The number of passengers continued to recover and increased 76.2% to 235k equal to 85% of volumes in March 2019, the latest comparable month pre-Covid-19.
  • The number of cars equalled 76% of volumes in 2019.
  • For the last twelve months 2023-22, the total number of passengers was 4.1m compared to 1.1m in 2022-21 and 5.1m in 2019.

Damen Shipyards design and build a new E-Cat Ferry for Reederei Norden-Frisia

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Reederei Norden-Frisia operates services from the mainland of north-west Germany to the Frisian Islands. The company asked Damen to design and build a new ferry.

 Green ambitions: already, the operator offers electric car and bicycle hire to its clients. Furthermore, Norden-Frisia is installing solar panels and wind turbines to its car parking facilities.

  • Was looking for: a fast(er) ferry for those people who are not dependent on transporting a vehicle.
  • Going to the next level: the construction of a fully electric vessel that would be able to transport 150 passengers from Norddeich to the island of Norderney, quickly, cleanly and in optimal comfort.
  • Reederei Norden-Frisia reached out to Damen for vessel + charging infrastructure and mooring solutions.
  • A tailored approach: the route that the ferry will operate required Damen to develop a completely new vessel – the Damen Fast Ferry (FFE) 3209 – known as the E-Cat Ferry.
  • Challenges: maximum draft max 1.2m – maximum speed 16 knots (UNESCO area) – 1h crossing (instead of 2) and 30 Minutes charging.
  • Hull to be constructed at Damen’s yard in Kozle, Poland.
  • Outfitting in Damen Shipyards Gorinchem.

Delivery to Norden-Frisia in May 2024.

Tallink’s vessels now using shore power in Tallinn, Helsinki, and Stockholm

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On Friday, 7 April 2023, Tallink Grupp’s shuttle vessel MEGASTAR started using high voltage shore connection facilities at the Port of Helsinki West Harbour while the vessel is berthed at the quayside overnight between departures.

Shore power is now used by Tallink Grupp’s vessels at the ports of Stockholm, Tallinn and Helsinki: fewer GHG emissions and less noise.

The company estimates that connecting the vessels to shore power facilities during their longer port stays reduces CO2 emissions of:

  • MYSTAR and MEGASTAR: each 112 tons/month (1,344 tons/y)
  • BALTIC QUEEN: 95 tons/month (1,140/y)
  • SILJA SYMPHONY and SILJA SERENADE: each 156 tons/month (1,872/y).

All five vessels using shore power during their longer port stays means that the company is reducing its CO2 emissions as a result by a whopping 7,572 tons per year.

Anek Lines’ EL VENIZELOS returns to the Piraeus-Crete service in June

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ANEK LINES is preparing the return of its cruise ferry EL. VENIZELOS on the Piraeus – Chania (Crete) line, after a two- year layup (25.04.2020) at Perama repair zone.

According to the Blue Star Ferries timetable, the ship is expected to replace BLUE GALAXY on June 30, 2023. The ferry is currently undergoing a significant refit.

She already had undergone a significant upgrade and renovation of her interior public spaces in 2019.

Photos: Anek Lines

Greece – Cyprus line booking system opened on April 11

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  • The 2023 booking system for the Greece – Cyprus ferry line was opened on April 11.
  • DALEELA will again be the ship that will serve the line but she will offer upgraded services.
  • First departure May 31 from Limassol
  • Last sailing from Piraeus to Larnaca September 1.
  • 22 round trips (8 between May – June, 7 in July and 7 between August and September).
  • 14 departures from the port of Limassol and 8 from the port of Larnaca, starting from July.
  • Last year’s traffic performance was 7,412 passengers and 2,250 vehicles.

Corsica Ferries testing biofuels with Total Energies

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TotalEnergies group announced that it has implemented the first biofuel bunkering operation in the Mediterranean from a French port.

The operation was carried out in low-profile mode in the past weeks and the ship involved has been the ro-pax ferry MEGA EXPRESS TWO owned by Corsica Ferries.

Some 100 tons of this product, which is made up of diesel and 30% biomolecules, in this case second-generation fatty acid methyl ester, produced from certified sustainable used cooking oil was provided to the ferry with a truck-to-ship bunkering operation.

Although this is still a trial, this solution should be developed by TotalEnergies Marine Fuels for shipping companies as it allows them to keep existing ships, while limiting greenhouse gas emissions by around 20% according to the company’s estimates.

Initial trials were carried out in Singapore in 2022 and the subsidiary signed a bunkering contract with Hapag Lloyd at the beginning of the year.

CRUISE SMERALDA transferred to Finnlines

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Ro-pax CRUISE SMERALDA, owned by Grimaldi Group, has just been just chartered out by Grimaldi Euromed to sister company Finnlines.

From the Italian port of Gioia Tauro, and after a stop in Antwerp, the 1997-built CRUISE SMERALDA arrived this week in Vlissingen, the Netherlands, before continuing to Malmö, Sweden.

CRUISE SMERALDA has a max capacity of 1,528 passengers and 819 cars (or 90 cars plus 125 trucks/trailers) and in the recent past had been operating on the motorways of the seas in the West Mediterranean and to/from the North Africa.

The ferry will replace other ferries on the Malmö-Travemünde link during their refurbishments.

“As early as this summer, there will be a new line between Sweden and Poland,” said Tom Pippingsköld in Swedish newspaper “Dagens Industri”. To be followed…