Tallink return to two-ship Tallinn – Stockholm service

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Tallink is to bring VICTORIA I back to the Tallinn – Stockholm route for summer 2024.  The cruiseferry will operate alongside BALTIC QUEEN to offer day departures in each direction from 31 May to 31 August.

This will be the first time since the pandemic that Tallink has offered a two-ship service on the Estonia – Sweden link.   VICTORIA I will also offer a number of cruises to Visby from Helsinki and Tallinn this summer.

VICTORIA I is currently operating the 22-hour cruise service on Tallink’s Tallinn – Helsinki route.  She is scheduled to return to this trade on 31 August 2024.  During her absence, the shuttle ferries MYSTAR and MEGASTAR will serve the route alone.

Commenting on the temporary route operations change, Tallink Grupp’s CEO Paavo Nõgene said:

“We saw customer demand increase on the Tallinn-Stockholm route for more frequent departures already in summer 2023, so this year we have decided to offer our customers what they have asked for during the summer peak travel season and give everyone the opportunity to travel between our two Nordic capitals more easily.”

Photo: Tallink/Marko Stampehl

Moby charters out Moby Dada, Moby Zaza and closes Livorno – Cagliari

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Moby, which has recently closed the ‘concordato preventivo’ procedure pending at the Court of Milan, has chartered the cruiseferry MOBY DADA to Algérie Ferries.

The news has not yet been confirmed by the Onorato-controlled company, but the brand “Algérie Ferries” has already been painted on the ship.  According to market sources, the charter will last until September.

Meanwhile, MOBY ZAZA is currently chartered to Jadrolinija on services to Croatia during an extended overhaul for the MARKO POLO.

Also, this week, news emerged that Moby will close the Livorno – Cagliari, Sardinia, ro-ro line.  The company will concentrate on ro-pax traffic from Livorno to Olbia with the newly built MOBY LEGACY and MOBY FANTASY

Photo: Nicola Capuzzo

Brittany Ferries improves fuel efficiency of flagship

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At her recent dry-dock at Remontowa, Gdańsk, the hull of Brittany Ferries’ PONT-AVEN was lengthened by three metres at the stern waterline.  This is often referred to as a duck-tail.

The purpose of the modification is to improve the hydrodynamic performance of the vessel.  This will reduce the drag on her hull, reducing fuel consumption by around 10% and therefore emissions.  The work follows analysis by the Chantiers de l’Atlantique design office where various ideas were looked at, followed by tests on the favoured concept using a 7-metre scale model of the PONT-AVEN

Additionally, Brittany Ferries is working with Wärtsilä to examine improving the propeller design of PONT-AVEN.  This could lead to a further reduction in fuel consumption of around 5%.

Meanwhile, Bureau Veritas Solutions Marine & Offshore (BV Solutions M&O) has developed and delivered a ‘Fleet Energy and Emissions Forecast‘ tool to Brittany Ferries.  The tool enables the ferry company’s onboard teams to plan for optimised and efficient operations, thereby reducing fuel consumption, emissions, and costs.

Photo: Brittany Ferries

P&O Ferries vessel arrives for scrap

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P&O Ferries’ PRIDE OF CANTERBURY arrived for scrapping at an EU-approved facility at Aliaga Turkey on 18 January.

Built as EUROPEAN PATHWAY, the vessel was renamed when converted to a full passenger ferry in 2003.  With P&O PIONEER in service and P&O LIBERTÉ currently on her delivery voyage from China to Europe, PRIDE OF CANTERBURY had no future in the company.

P&O Ferries say that they are committed to ensuring the life cycle of all vessels is handled safely and sustainably with a responsible and EU-compliant recycling and disposal process.

Meanwhile, another former P&O Ferries vessel that formed part of the same series of newbuilds has arrived back in European waters.  BLUE WAVE HARMONY arrived at Gibraltar on 24 January.  The former EUROPEAN SEAWAY is currently owned by Blue Wave Corp.  She operated a short-lived route from Costa Rica to El Salvador which started in August 2023 but only lasted a few months.  There is no news yet on if and how the vessel will be used in European waters.

Isles of Scilly newbuild contract signed

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The Isles of Scilly Steamship Group (ISSG), has signed contracts with Brittany-based shipbuilder Piriou, for two new ships that will be delivered in 2026. Financed by Lombard, construction will begin in spring 2024.

The vessels ordered for the Penzance to St Mary’s service are a 600-seat passenger vessel, SCILLONIAN IV and a freight vessel. The new passenger ship will provide improved comfort, reliability and speed, whilst the new freight vessel will significantly improve cargo capacity.

The vessels will replace the 1977-built SCILLONIAN III and freighter GRY MARITHA from 1981.

Photo: Isles of Scilly Steamship Group

LIDER PRESTIJ (ex-Beniamino Carnevale) successfully towed from Italy to Turkey

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After a first attempt failed because the tug TEDY experienced a tow line break in high seas after departing from the port of Naples, LIDER PRESTIJ, built in 1992 and formerly known as BENIAMINO CARNEVALE, has now been successfully towed to Turkey.

Aegean Tugs Shipping Co. publicly announced that the AHT POTHITOS II – (65BP) completed the towing activity of the ro-ro LIDER PRESTIJ from Milazzo in Italy to Haydarpasa in Turkey.

The vessel was sold at auction by Compagnia Italiana di Navigazione and acquired by Turkish interests for EUR 3.25 million.

Photo: Aegean Tugs Shipping Co.

Record figures for Eckerö Line

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In 2023 Eckerö Line carried 2 million passengers for the first time in a single year on their Helsinki – Tallinn route.  Freight also grew strongly, attributed to FINBO CARGO’s improved schedule on the Vuosaari – Muuga link.

Meanwhile, the company’s Helsinki – Tallinn mainstay, FINLANDIA, is currently at dry-dock in Landskrona.  When she leaves on 8 February, after a month of work, new rudders and propeller blades will have been installed on the ship. This will reduce emissions by an estimated 6%. In addition, the bottom of the ship is being treated with an anti-fouling paint, also reducing emissions.

Photo: Eckerö Line

Austal to build for Rottnest Fast Ferries

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Austal Australasia is to build a catamaran for Rottnest Fast Ferries, based in Hillarys, Western Australia.  The craft will operate the 45-minute journey from Hillarys Boat Harbour to Rottnest Island.

Collaborating with vessel designer Incat Crowther, Austal will commence construction of the aluminium catamaran at the company’s Philippines shipyard during the first quarter of this year.

Passengers 400
Crew 5
Length 32 metres
Engines 2 x 1029kW MAN D2862 diesel engines
Speed 25 knots

Photo: Austal

Seajets purchases NATCHAN RERA

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On 18 January, it was revealed in the Greek press that Seajets has purchased the large Incat HSC NATCHAN RERA. The impressive vessel is expected to leave the port of Anping for Greece at the end of January.  At 112-metres, the vessel can operate at higher wave heights than smaller fast craft.

Despite having been built in 2007, the 35-knot vessel has seen long periods of limited or no service giving Seajets a craft with limited running hours.  With a capacity for 790 passengers and 355 cars, the acquisition of this vessel means Seajets lives up to its reputation as the world’s largest high-speed vessel operator.

Photo: Incat

Evening Sailings for Seajets CHAMPION JET 3

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The Hellenic Ministry of Shipping announced that Seajets HSC CHAMPION JET 3 will operate to Cyclades on the evening summer zone from 1 May to 14 October 2024.  The ship will depart from the port of Piraeus at 16:00 for the Syros – Mykonos – Paros – Naxos – Santorini line and v.v. the following morning.

CHAMPION JET 3 (ex- INCAT 045) was purchased in July 2023 from the Spanish company Trasmapi and delivered at the port of Vigo.   She was built by Incat in 1997 and her carrying capacity is 700 passengers and 200 cars. Her speed is 36 knots.

Photo: Kostas Papadopoulos