- Turkish shipbuilder Sefine (Yalova) and Bluestone Group celebrated the steel cutting ceremony for a new double-ender ferry ordered by Caronte & Tourist.
- Expected to be delivered in H1, 2024.
- LNG-ready engines, batteries, and solar panels.
- Will be deployed on the Strait of Messina, between the Italian ports of Messina and Villa San Giovanni.
- Capacity for 1,500 passengers, 602 of which can be accommodated in sheltered seating areas.
- She will be the second newbuild supervised on behalf of Caronte & Tourist by Bluestone, a provider of technical services for the maritime industry which has been awarded a contract for plan approval and construction supervision.
Regione Siciliana received two offers following the public tender launched for the ferry links to and from the smaller islands surrounding Sicily. The contract is worth EUR 360 million for five years and it’s divided in two: EUR 210 million for highspeed maritime links and EUR 152 million for services operated with ropax units.
As for the highspeed routes, Liberty Lines emerged as the only participants, while Caronte & Tourist was the only company interested in the subsidised links to the Eolie, Egadi, Lampedusa and Linosa islands.
The last concession awarded saw Ustica Lines (former Liberty Lines), Caronte & Tourist and Siremar as the companies with the highest number of lines granted.
Ropax EPSILON, owned by Caronte & Tourist, but operated since several years in a bareboat charter by Irish Ferries, has been handed over this week to the new owner.
The Messina-based company, with the support of Ferrando & Massone acting as broker, sold the vessel to EuroAfrica of Poland for a price exceeding EUR 50 million.
At least until the end of the current year the EPSILON will remain in bare boat charter to Irish Ferries serving the maritime link between Ireland and the UK.
This ropax unit was built by Cantieri Visentini shipyard in 2011, can transport roughly 2,900 lane metres of roro and accommodate some 500 passengers.
The ferry company BluNavy has just welcomed in its fleet the ropax unit ANTONELLO DA MESSINA chartered in from Siremar (jointly controlled by Caronte & Tourist and Liberty Lines).
After some tests the ship started covering the Piombino – Porto Ferraio route offering 4 roundtrips per day and operates ‘in combination’ with the ferry VESTA.
ANTONELLO DA MESSINA has been chartered to replace the ferry ACCIARELLO which is expected to be refitted.
740 pax | 70 cars | 16 knots speed | 71m | Built 1989 Shipyard Nuovi Cantieri Apuania
Photo: Mattia Montanelli
Caronte & Tourist has signed the order for a new 8,300 GT ferry at Sefine in Yalova.
This order is entirely financed by Caronte & Tourist and is part of a wider fleet renovation plan. Four more ships will be commissioned to be deployed on the Strait of Messina and the short sea routes to Sicily.
The newly commissioned ferry will, as expected, be built on a project by the Trieste-based company Naos Design (see link) and will be ready for delivery within two years.
Dimensions: 110m long, 20m wide, 800 passengers, 420 lane metres.
Route: port of Milazzo – Aeolian Islands.
Dual-fuel LNG hybrid.
Following the announcement from Baleària last week, the Italian ferry company Caronte & Tourist is working with Rina Consulting towards being the first operator ‘Covid-free’ in Italy, to obtain the correct instructions for transporting passengers safely next summer.
Before the end of June, Caronte & Tourist will have to implement specific procedures, cleaning plans, organisational and personal protective measures to prevent Covid-19., under the supervision of Rina.
Vincenzo Franza, CEO of the Messina-based ferry company, said that “to be compliant with the new rules, passenger capacity will be reduced 50%, in order to guarantee the necessary social distance. There will also be new procedures and one-way corridors”.
For the very short routes the company will also ask the possibility for the passengers to stay in their cars during the crossing.
Italian Company Caronte & Tourist To Debut In Croatia With A New Regular Link
The Messina-based company Caronte & Tourist is expected to open a new maritime link in Croatia from mid-July with the ferry GIUSEPPE FRANZA which is now moored in Rijeka after a first refusal from the authorities to enter the port.
Local media report that Caronte & Tourist Isole Minori has filed a request with Croatia’s Agency for Coastal Passenger Traffic to establish a ferry line between Rijeka and Porozina, on the Cres island.
The new service should be operated from 15 July to 15 September.
The Italian company, however, has still not collected most of the required permits and documents, said Paola Vidovic, director of Croatia’s Agency for Coastal Passenger Traffic, as quoted by business news portal SeeBiz.eu.
Before and in order to sign the contract, Caronte & Tourist will have to collect all the required documents requested before starting the new maritime link.
The first stage of ferry market liberalization in Croatia started in 2018 and is taking this summer with some services’ concession to be granted to foreign companies.
The UK-based investment fund Basalt Infrastructure Partners II LP announced it has closed the acquisition of a 30% interest in the Italian ferry company Caronte & Tourist.
The terms of the transaction were not disclosed but the price might stand around €150m according to some financial sources. Basalt is an infrastructure equity investment fund focusing on investments in utilities, energy and transport infrastructure in Europe and North America. Basalt also controls Wightlink.
Caronte & Tourist owns and operates 26 ferries providing lifeline ferry services between Sicily and the Italian mainland (Strait of Messina) and between Sicily and the Sicilian minor islands. “The company has a proven and well-established management team responsible for a strong core business with additional growth potential” said Rob Gregor, managing partner of Basalt Infrastructure Partners.
“We are very excited to welcome Basalt as a long term partner in our business. Their investment coupled with our market-leading position and knowledge help deliver the industrial plan of the company, growing the business to meet the needs of the Island and pursue further growth opportunities” added Antonino Repaci, chairman of Caronte & Tourist.