By | 2020 Newsletter week 20 | No Comments

Drastic Measures For Passengers Travelling By Ferry In Greece

Greek Ferry Travel To Start On May 18

On May 8, the Greek Minister of Shipping and Island Policy announced the new protocol for passengers travelling by ferry.

However, those measures have caused reasonable concern to the Greek Ferry Operators as Covid-19 will apparently change the way we used to travel.

In any case, and according to a Hellenic Ministry of Shipping and Island Policy official announcement, travel to the Greek islands by ferry will start on May 18, 2020.

Port of Antwerp Will Be the First to Test an Intelligent Bracelet to Avoid Covid-19

By | 2020 Newsletter week 17 | No Comments

If port workers come to close to each other, the digital bracelet will make a sound. This is how technology will help to keep 6 feet of social distancing.

The device has been created by Rombit and is now available as Romware Covid Radius.

A second advantage is the privacy-compliant contact tracing. Checking back to see who’s been in contact with newly identified patients with an infectious disease is an important technique for containing the coronavirus pandemic.


By | 2020 Newsletter week 16 | No Comments

Brittany Ferries

At the end of an announcement on their website, Brittany Ferries say the newbuilt HONFLEUR will not enter service in 2020.

CTMA Cancels its 2020 Cruise Season

CTMA decided to cancel its 19th cruise season (Montréal – Îles de la Madeleine), which was scheduled to take place from June 12 to September 25, 2020 with veteran ferry CTMA VACANCIER.

DFDS Preparing for Re-opening of Cruise Ferry Routes

Kasper Moos, Head of Short Routes and Passenger, has already put together a team to start work with planning the  reopening of the Copenhagen – Oslo and Amsterdam – Newcastle routes. More in DFDS News

Greece: Fleet Reshuffling on the Piraeus-Crete Lines

Since 13 April, the Attica Group- ANEK Lines joint venture will serve the Piraeus-Crete lines with 3 vessels.

Ropax HELLENIC SPIRIT left her Adriatic service. She replaces ELYROS on the Piraeus-Heraklion-Chania route.

It is the first time that HELLENIC SPIRIT serves the Crete route. ELYROS has been laid up at Souda port (Crete).=

Likewise, Blue Star Ferries’ BLUE GALAXY has been be replaced by NISSOS RODOS on the Piraeus-Chania line.

Also, on 14 April, BLUE HORIZON was replaced by KRITI II on the Piraeus-Heraklion line.

Minoan Lines withdrew KNOSSOS PALACE from the Piraeus-Heraklion line and left active the close sisters MYKONOS PALACE and KYDON PALACE which served the Piraeus-Chania Line until recently.

All vessels will serve those lines for as long as required.

Isle of Man Steam Packet Company

Since April 15, fast craft MANANNAN carries out daytime sailings to and from Heysham.

In addition, the roro ARROW will provide the overnight freight service to the Island.

The timetable, which will remain in place for a fortnight until 29th April, will ensure all lifeline freight and passenger services are maintained.

The scheduled dry docking of ropax BEN-MY-CHREE has now been postponed.

More info on website.


After the Easter weekend, the ferries of the Bornholmslinjen, Alslinjen, Langelandslinjen and Samsølinjen started to sail again according to the regular schedule and frequency.

On the Kattegat, between Aarhus and Odden, Express 2 will double the return trips (from 2 to 4) in the coming weeks. A second fast ferry is expected to start as from 27 April. In May a third vessel might join.

Common to all the routes is that only every other place on the ferry is for sale in April and May. People are also allowed to stay in their car.

Stena Offering STENA SAGA as Hospital Ship

Stena RoRo has prepared the design and a project manager has been appointed to convert the ferry STENA SAGA into a hospital ship with space for 520 patients. Stena RoRo can convert the ferry within just a few weeks and have it ready to provide additional healthcare capacity in a corona-affected region. Contact has been established with authorities in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Germany. (press release)

Transmanche Ferries

Having already stopped carrying passengers, the Newhaven-Dieppe ferry is now limiting the remaining freight service to one round-trip per day each weekday and one each weekend.

The ferry will leave Dieppe at 1800h and return from Newhaven at 2300h from Monday to Friday. The boat will leave Dieppe on Saturdays at 1800h and return from Newhaven at 23h on Sunday.

Passengers are carried only exceptionally. Bookings for delayed repatriation or similar circumstances can be requested by telephone only.

The decisions have been taken by the Département of Seine Maritime in the light of severely reduced traffic over recent weeks.


By | 2020 Newsletter week 15 | No Comments

Thank you to all the companies and subscribers that have provided us with information regarding the impact of the virus crisis.
We have produced this overview. As things change fast, we cannot guarantee that the information is up to date. Nor is this an attempt to be complete. Please check the respective websites.


Baleària has submitted an ERTE (expediente de regulación temporal de empleo) for 30% of its workforce, which affects 544 people.

The crisis has caused that of the 32 ships owned by the company, 20 are inactive and the remaining 12 operate with reduced crews, transporting only goods and their drivers.

The company said that all April salaries would be paid as normal.

The ferries are an important lifeline for the Balearic Islands, the Canary Islands, Ceuta and Melilla.

BC Ferries

BC Ferries is adjusting the schedule on the Metro Vancouver (Tsawwassen) – Southern Gulf Islands and Victoria (Swartz Bay) – Southern Gulf Islands routes effective April 10.


  • CALAIS SEAWAYS has been laid up in Calais.
  • The Gothenburg Ro-Ro terminal will be hit by loss of business during the Covid-19 crisis. As the trade union, in contrast to other employees in Sweden, refuses to go on leave based on the Swedish Short- Time Work Allowance, management has no alternative to starting negotiations on staff reductions to bring the terminal through the Covid-19 crisis. More in DFDS News.

Hellenic Coastal Shipping “Struggles” to Avoid Collapsing

Hellenic Coastal shipping is on the verge of collapse. In the last 4 weeks, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, crews and employees were suspended, routes were stopped, ships were moored, speeds were reduced, and the majority of the ferry sailing have been cut. The situation is shocking:

  • Golden Star Ferries stopped all its sailings and its entire fleet is inactive
  • The Attica Group has stopped BLUE STAR PAROS and DIAGORAS sailings to the Aegean islands
  • BLUE STAR DELOS serve only four of seven routes
  • BLUE STAR NAXOS makes the afternoon route Piraeus-Paros-Naxos-Small Cyclades
  • BLUE STAR MYCONOS stopped one of her Monday sailings from Piraeus to Syros-Mykonos-Ikaria-Samos and then continues to Chios-Lesvos-Kavala which is subsidized only every Tuesday and Friday
  • The lines of Crete are served only by 4 instead of 7 large ferries and the Cretan ferry operators cut and resumed sailings
  • Sea Speed ​​Lines’ OLYMPUS stop sailings on the Piraeus-Milos-Santorini-Rethymnon run
  • The Rafina-Andros-Tinos-Mykonos line is served with only 3 routes per week instead of 14
  • The Piraeus-Chios-Mytilene line is served with 3 routes instead of 6
  • The Ikaria-Samos run is served with 2 routes instead of 3
  • Seajets’ SUPER JET has stopped sailings on the Piraeus-Tinos-Mykonos-Naxos-Santorini run
  • BLUE STAR DELOS and NISSOS CHIOS have reduced their speed from 25 knots to 18 knots
  • The High-Speed Crafts summer season introduction was transferred from the Easter to late May or early June, while some of them may not be launched in 2020
  • In the Patras-Italy service, there is a 35% to 40% reduction in the transportation of trucks since 70% of the production in Italy has stopped.

The Hellenic Coastal shipping is a seasonal sector and if it does not work during the summer period will not survive next year. For that reason, injections of liquidity will be needed soon as ferry companies such as Attica and ANEK Lines will need capitals to operate. On the other hand, Minoan Lines may have repaid its loans but it can also rely on the Grimaldi Group’s liquidity and its small presence in the Hellenic Coastal Shipping. The small and medium-sized ferry companies are also a step before the collapse and have to be financially supported either by the state either by their owners.

The Hellenic Ministry of Shipping, is currently working on a new package of measures which may include front-loaded financial support up to EUR 15 million, depending on the size of each company. That second package of measures is mainly based on:

  1. the aforementioned financial aid which can even reach the EUR 30 million, after the relevant estimations by the Ministries of Finance and Development are completed
  2. the expansion of the public service itinerary which will proceed as many of the popular commercial lines are not that profitable anymore
  3. the broader effort that is being made at a European level in order to ensure a broader assistance for the coastal ferry sector. However, this European financial support can only be given after the losses have been estimated completely.

Written by Spyridon Roussos


Operations on the Norwegian coast will be suspended through May 20. As of now, the first scheduled round trip departure from Bergen will be on May 21.

Irish Republic

The Irish Government is to set aside a EUR 15 million emergency package in order to ensure the continued operation of five ferry routes between Ireland and the UK, and Ireland-France.

The “public service obligation routes” are Rosslare-Cherbourg, Rosslare-Bilbao, Rosslare-Pembroke, Rosslare-Fishguard and Dublin-Cherbourg.

The ferry companies involved are Irish Ferries, Stena Line and Brittany Ferries.

The funds will cover a minimum three-month period in order to ensure the continuity of the services.

P&O Ferries

  • Larne – Cairnryan service is reducing from up to 7 sailings to up to 4
  • Hull – Zeebrugge is going from 2 ropax ships to a single ship operation.
  • PRIDE OF BURGUNDY and PRIDE OF CANTERBURY are at anchor at the Calais anchorage.
  • The company asked the government for a GBP 150 million bailout, after passenger numbers dried up. The income from its 8.4 million passengers a year normally subsidises its income from freight. The crisis has plunged P&O Ferries into a £250,000 daily loss.
  • Media reports say that owner DP World is prepared to pour money into P&O Ferries if the UK Government injects the 150 million.

Stena Line (1)

Stena Line has announced that it plans to furlough 600 employees with 150 redundancies across the UK and the Republic of Ireland.  Those furloughed maintain 80% of salaries.

The announcement of furlough and redundancies relates to both UK and Ireland shored-based and sea-based employees, including those working on vessels on the Irish Sea and North Sea. It follows a reduction of the number of sailings on several routes; several vessels have also been taken out of service.

On Monday, 16 March, Stena Line announced redundancies that will affect 950 people employed in Scandinavia. A number of these employees have since also been furloughed. Further job losses have subsequently been made in Denmark and the Baltics.

The company is evaluating its operations in all regions and does not rule out that there could be further furlough, redundancy or changes to its current sailing schedules or routes.

Stena Line (2) Plans to Close the Trelleborg-Sassnitz Route

On Saturday 14 March Stena Line suspended the operation of the ferry route between Trelleborg in Sweden and Sassnitz in Germany until further notice.

On 8 April, the Company announced plans for the permanent closure of the route, including check-in areas and bordershop in Sassnitz.

In recent years, approximately 300,000 annual passengers travelled via Sassnitz-Trelleborg, while freight volumes and train traffic on the route have declined. Due to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and following travel restrictions in Europe Stena Line has experienced a large decline in travel bookings and freight volumes. It is estimated that passenger figures will not recover until well into 2021. As a result of the significant reduction in revenue, the Company is forced to take tough decisions in order to cut costs and secure its vital supply lines of essential goods across Europe.

Stena Line has initiated discussions with the worker´s council (Betriebsrat) in Germany. The ferry SASSNITZ is laid up in Port of Mukran, Sassnitz, until further notice.

Stena Line is currently operating two ferry routes between Sweden and Germany, which are primarily carrying freight, and with a reduced passenger capacity.

  • Trelleborg- Rostock with MECKLENBURG-VORPOMMERN and SKÅNE, 40 departures per week.
  • Gothenburg-Kiel with STENA SCANDINAVICA and STENA GERMANICA, 12 departures per week.

Viking Line

Viking Line will interrupt passenger traffic arriving to Finland on ships leaving on or after 11 April, except freight and freight traffic. The limit is valid until 13 May

The restriction does not apply to passenger traffic leaving Finland.

Passenger traffic is possible on shipping routes between Åland and continental Finland.


By | 2020 Newsletter week 11 | No Comments

Covid-19: Italian Ports are Open but International Ferry Links for Passengers Suspended

“Italian ports are fully operational with regular service to the national community and all their offices, including those devoted to controls, guaranteeing regularity of these activities”. That’s what Assoporti, the local association of port authorities, announced (10 March) following the Italian government’s new coronavirus quarantine measures.

Italy has about 10,000 confirmed cases and over 600 deaths from COVID-19 so far, and the government has instituted a strict nationwide lockdown in an attempt to limit the disease’s spread.

Despite ports being open, all the international ferry links to Croatia, Albania, Tunisia, Morocco and Malta have been suspended. Further countries may follow.

Those measures are heavily impacting shipping companies providing transport services for passengers such as Grandi Navi Veloci, Adria Ferries, Virtu Ferries ad CTN. Other groups such as Tirrenia, Grimaldi, Messina and others which are regularly working as roro and cargo ships, are not affected by the restrictions.

“The measures adopted by the Government in no way restrict the movement of goods in the country” Assoporti underlined.


By | 2020 Newsletter week 11 | No Comments

International Chamber of Shipping Issues New Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance for Shipping Industry

The International Chamber of Shipping has issued brand new guidance for the global shipping industry to help combat the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The comprehensive 22-page document has been produced in collaboration with prominent international bodies including:

The World Health Organization (WHO)

The International Maritime Organization (IMO)

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)

The International Maritime Health Association (IMHA)

Click on the cover to access the website.