Mega Smeralda Chartered As Accommodation Vessel In Genoa

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Corsica Ferries’ vessel MEGA SMERALDA is being used in Genoa as accommodation vessel by Costa Crociere, for hosting the crew of the COSTA neoRIVIERA.

This cruise ship is currently being transformed into AIDAmira (for AIDA Cruises), at the San Giorgio del Porto shipyard.

MEGA EXPRESS has more than 500 cabins.

The one-month charter (€50k/d) is set to expire at the end of November.

Corsica: One Of The Three Candidates Rejected For… For What?

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Corsica: One Of The Three Candidates Rejected For… For What?

Last week we wrote that three ferry companies were competing for the Public Service Delegation contract: Corsica Ferries, Corsica Linea and CMN/La Mériodionale.

The OTC (Office des Transports Corse) who has to take the decision, rejected one offer. After some speculation in the press, Lota Maritime SA (Corsica Ferries) was eventually informed officially on Wednesday 14 November that their offer was rejected because of non-conformity.

The company is criticized for not having complied with the requested digital format, which was required in addition to the paper version.

In a television interview with France 3, Lota Maritime’s CEO Pierre Mattei says he “nearly fell from his chair when he got the news.”

He said that even if the digital information would have been missing (which he denies), the OTC could still see the enclosed paper version.

Mr Mattei concludes the interview by saying his lawyers will examine the case.

Ferries Corsica: Not 2, But 3 Candidates For The Public Service Delegation Contract

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There are now officially three candidates for the maritime DSP contract (Delegation of Public Service):

  • Corsica Ferries (the yellow ships)
  • Corsica Linea (the red ships)
  • La Mériodionale (the blue ships)

On Monday 5 November, Corsica Ferries was the first company to present its candidature to the OTC (Office des Transports Corse).

Although not a complete surprise, it is now confirmed that Corsica Linea and La Mériodionale will both compete separately, after having been allies for many years.

The contract is for the ferry services between Marseille and five Corsican ports. The (difficult) decision will have to be taken before summer 2019. The new DSP starts on 1 October 2019 and lasts only until 31 December 2019. The relatively short period has to be seen as a test period, before switching to DSP’s of ten years.

La Mériodionale only has a fleet of three ro-pax ferries, but could have enough ships by adding chartered tonnage.

Corsica Ferries To Open A New Line From Southern France To Sicily From April 2019

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As from 21 April 2019, Corsica Ferries will open a new route linking Southern France, namely Nice and Toulon, with the port of Trapani, a small city placed on the western coast of Sicily (100km from Palermo).

Reservations opened on 25 September.

The new route, according to what Corsica Ferries said in a statement, “will be operated overnight with some of its fast ferries”. This new service will take 19 hours to link France and Sicily and frequency is expected to be twice per week.

Also this month Corsica Ferries assigned to the Italy-headquartered naval architecture consultancy NAOS Ship and Boat Design the preliminary design work for the new ferries which intends to build in the near future. “An holistic investigation on the traffic characteristics and optimal vessel for the purpose has been performed by the technical department of Corsica Ferries, and then transferred to NAOS to design the corresponding ship” the Trieste-based designer said in its last newsletter

The Corsican Community Will Have To Pay Compensation To Corsica Ferries

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The Marseille Administrative Court of Appeal upheld the judgment of 23 February 2017, recognizing the injury of Corsica Ferries, reports Corse Net Infos (in French).
The subject of the dispute was the aid paid between 2007 and 2013 to the former SNCM and the CMN.
On February 23, 2017, the Bastia Administrative Court had ordered the Collectivité de Corse (CTC) to pay € 84.3 million to Corsica Ferries in compensation for the damage caused by the payment of subsidies. This aid, considered illegal, made it possible to provide an additional service for the transport of passengers during peak periods within the framework of the DSP (Delegation of public service).
Corsica Ferries, then, seized the European Commission and obtained, in April 2016, the cancellation of the DSP.
In a judgment delivered on February 15, the Administrative Court of Appeal of Marseille confirms the payment of indemnities.
Satisfied with the judgment, Pierre Mattei, CEO of Corsica Ferries, sees two mistakes committed by the CTC.
1) Illegal subsidies in 2007.
2) In 2013, when it did nothing to recover the € 220 million in illegal aid received by SNCM that should have paid back.
It will now be a question of precisely assessing this damage. The CTC already announced to accept the verdict.

Corsica Ferries to link France and Mallorca twice a week 

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Pierre Mattei, CEO of Corsica Ferries, announced via his Twitter account that, twice a week a vessel will offer a crossing between Toulon (mainland France) and Alcudia, a port on the northeastern side of the Balearic island of Mallorca. 

The day/night service starts in April. The new line is made possible by the introduction of the PASCAL LOTTA, 13th ship in the fleet. With its large capacity it allowed a fleet reshuffle.  

Photo ©Mike Louagie