Brand new MOBY FANTASY arrived in Italy

By | 2023 Newsletter week 23 | No Comments

The impressive MOBY FANTASY recently delivered by China’s Guangzhou Shipyard successfully concluded its maiden voyage from the Far East to Europe.

Moby’s new flagship, under the command of Genoese captain Massimo Pinsolo, crossed two oceans and the Suez Canal before arriving in the Tyrrhenian Sea at the port of Livorno.

The huge Ro-Pax will be officially presented in Olbia on June 17, and start operating from late June on the Livorno – Olbia route.

With its 37m length, 32m width and a gross tonnage of 69,500 tons, MOBY FANTASY is the one of largest passenger ferries in the world. She has a capacity of 3,000 passengers and 3,850 lane metres.

The high sustainability standards also make it one of the most advanced and technologically sophisticated ferries with respect to environmental protection and emission reduction.

Brittany Ferries reports encouraging passenger volumes, but freight slump worsens

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Freight down:

  • Since Brexit, Brittany Ferries has seen a decline of around 1/5th in total freight volumes carried on the Channel.
  • This year (2023) the drop has worsened worryingly.
  • From the start of April, the company has averaged around 2,000 fewer freight units per month than expected. The equates to a drop of around 8% compared with last year.
  • Reason: over-capacity and a price war on short sea routes.

OUTLOOK: if this weaker pattern continues, estimates for year-end suggest 15% worse freight performance than originally projected.

Passenger up:

  • Passenger volumes for 2023 are encouraging, if not spectacular.
  • Volumes are significantly up on 2022, but still lag behind 2019 which was the last pre-Covid comparison year.
  • So far this year, Brittany Ferries has booked 1,504,274 passengers (those who have already travelled and those holding a forward reservation). That’s a 17.6% increase on the same period in 2022.
  • However, volumes are still down by nearly 15% compared with 2019, a deficit of around 270,000 passengers.
  • Looking at forward reservations for the high season (covering April – October), reservations have reached 1,224,120 passengers, compared with 1,097,724 for the same period in 2022. This is an increase of 126,396 passengers, or 12%.

OUTLOOK: for year-end the company is forecasting an 18% boost in total passenger numbers compared with 2022.

 In total 1.95 million passengers are forecast to have travelled with Brittany Ferries by the end of the year. This would be a positive result, but still around 100,000 fewer travellers than expected.

Source and details per route in this press release.

AS Tallink Grupp Statistics for May 2023

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In May 2023 AS Tallink Grupp transported 469,878 passengers, which is a 3.3% decrease compared to May 2022.

The number of cargo units decreased by 23.1% to 29,678 units and the number of passenger vehicles by 0.1% to 72,969 units year-on-year.


The May Finland-Sweden results reflect the operations of the Helsinki-Stockholm and the Turku-Kapellskär/Turku-Stockholm routes. The cruise ferry GALAXY I stopped operating on the Turku-Stockholm route in September 2022 due to a charter contract.


The May Estonia-Finland results reflect operations of shuttle services of MYSTAR and MEGASTAR.

The shuttle ferry STAR, which operated on the Tallinn-Helsinki route until 1 May 2023, is on long-term charter since 5 May 2023 providing transport services between Ireland, the United Kingdom and France under the OSCAR WILDE name.

The cruise ferry SILJA EUROPA stopped operating on the Tallinn-Helsinki route in August 2022 due to a charter contract.


The May Estonia-Sweden results reflect the operations of the Tallinn-Stockholm and the Paldiski-Kapellskär route.


In May 2023, the charter agreement was signed based on which the cruise ferry SILJA EUROPA will continue providing services in Netherlands until December 2023.

Caronte & Tourist trying again to enter the Croatian ferry market

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Four years after the last attempt, the Italian ferry company Caronte & Tourist is trying to enter the local Croatian cabotage market again.

Local media report that the newcomer has been already authorized to operate a line between the ports of Zadar and Preko by the Short Sea Maritime Agency.

The vessel to be deployed on the line should be the 1978-built and double ended ferry ULISSE.

But Caronte & Tourist will have to face the opposition expressed by the Municipality of Preko.

PRINCE soon on the Brindisi – Valona line

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A-Ships Management ferry PRINCE (ex-DUBROVNIK) will soon be introduced on the classic Brindisi – Valona line.

The Irish-built vessel was purchased on April 14, 2023, from the Croatian state ferry company Jadrolinija. She underwent repairs and dry docking and she is expected to leave Greece in mid-June.

She is the third vessel in the A-Ships Management fleet. GALAXY (1979) and GOLDEN BRIDGE (1990) are currently chartered to Siremar and GNV.

Photo: Kostas Papadopoulos

Former Olympus under conversion into a Ro-Ro vessel

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Creta Cargo Lines’ new acquisition Ro-Ro AGIOS GEORGIOS (ex OLYMPUS) is currently having her dry docking at Spanopoulos Group facilities. The Japanese-built vessel was purchased in mid-February 2023.

Creta Cargo lines decided to operate her as a Ro-Ro vessel.

RoRo Agios Georgios is the fifth vessel on the Cretan company’s fleet and she is expected to enhance her company’s presence in the Greek Ro-Ro market.

Photo: Kostas Papadopoulos

Norled, Remota and Seam sign LOI for remote and autonomous ferry operations

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Norwegian ferry and express boat operator Norled, Remota AS and Seam AS have signed a letter of intent to collaborate on the further development and operation of a control center for marine operations and autonomous operations of ships.

Remota is a joint venture between DeepOcean, Solstad Offshore and Østensjø Group, set up to fast-track the adoption of remotely managed services in order to drive down operating costs and emissions for the marine and offshore industries.

Seam is a leading supplier of zero-emission solutions to the maritime industry.

The three companies intend to build on Remota’s already established control center for marine and semi-autonomous vessel operations, and further develop this to include control of autonomous operations.

Through a joint control center environment, the parties want to share experiences, collaborate on technological solutions, promote standardization and utilize cross-functional synergies that benefit Norled and its customers, Remota and Seam.

The IMO must take the bull by the horns

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“To supercharge the green shift, we need a clear zero-emissions target by 2050, a market-based levy on CO2 emissions and an improved set of efficiency measures, and as our industry’s global regulator the IMO is the body to do it – and fast. We no longer have the luxury of time,” writes Norwegian Shipowners’ Association (NSA) CEO Harald Solberg.

“In the wake of this year’s Nor-Shipping, it was clear to me in all the conversations I had both on and off the record that momentum is growing across the industry to push for higher targets on decarbonization, faster technology development and improved efficiency throughout the value chain to tackle the climate crisis.”

“My post-fair summary to all our global partners is that the Norwegian shipping community will continue to be a loud and leading voice in that process. The NSA launched its own ambitious climate strategy in 2020, under which our members, firstly, will only order vessels based on zero-emission technology from 2030, and secondly, will operate a climate-neutral fleet by 2050.”

“IMO’s current climate strategy was adopted in 2018 with a goal to reduce total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from international shipping by at least 50% by 2050 compared to 2008 levels. The strategy also called for the development of short-term measures to help achieve this goal, including energy efficiency standards for new ships and the development of the Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII) for existing ships.”

“The NSA stands firmly behind the IMO. We continue to believe that maritime regulations should be developed to the greatest extent possible at the global level under its direction. This is the best way to ensure fair competition and an optimally effective regulatory framework, versus a patchwork of regional regulations that would be unnecessarily burdensome in terms of cost and compliance.”

“It is our view that the IMO urgently needs to adopt a more ambitious strategy along the same lines as our own. We advocate setting an unequivocal zero-emissions goal by 2050 and the implementation of a market-based mechanism that puts a price on GHG emissions from international shipping. The latter is absolutely crucial to reduce emissions globally. The income from a CO2 levy should, in turn, be used to finance the green transition by reducing the price of alternative energy sources.”

“In addition, the CII has shown significant weaknesses, including unintended consequences that may cause the distortion of vessel trading platforms to achieve better rankings, which in a worst-case scenario could lead to higher fuel consumption and more emissions. New and more efficient measures are necessary instead of a ‘one size fits all’ dynamic based on nautical miles sailed.”

“The 80th meeting of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC-80) in July will decide on the IMO’s revised climate strategy. We cannot shrink away from our shared responsibility to transform maritime transport, and with the IMO in the vanguard I believe we can get there – together and on a level playing field.”

“To conclude, as the international regulator of our industry we need the IMO to show strong and tough leadership. The July meeting will be seen as a key milestone, and bold decisions are required. Any loopholes need closing and there is no time to waste.”