Former Baltic Ferry WELLAMO sank in Vietnamese waters with loss of life

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Silja Line’s former WELLAMO (1975) was anchored in the beautiful waters of the Vietnamese Van Phong Bay (Khanh Hoa) since 2010. She was used as a hotel ship. She was under tow to Haiphong for overhaul when she was hit by typhoon Damrey. She sank on November 4 in the Quy Nhon Sea, four nautical miles southeast of Quy Nhon. In total 11 bodies have been found on several ships that sank because of the same typhoon.
WELLAMO has served companies as DFDS (DANA GLORIA, KING OF SCANDINAVIA), Color Line (COLOR VIKING) and Fjord Line (JUPITER), and has been lengthened in 1988 .

Meet the team

By | 2017 Newsletter week 47 | No Comments

Perhaps you asked yourself who we are? What better way than having a picture taken in front of a ferry?
The entire Ferry Shipping Summit team is ready for you, and wishes you a very enjoyable read of this Ferry Shipping News.

This photo of the Ferry Shipping Summit team was already published a couple of weeks ago. Some readers suggested to add the names. Here you are, from left to right: Anita van Schie (Eventmanager), Ron Maes (Senior Advisor), Frans Baud (Director), Mike Louagie (Editor), Bo-Lennart Thorbjörnsson (President), Sandra Snijder (Webmaster), Mats Wanders (Assistent).

Swedish Maritime Administration’s new fairway due and pilot fee system hits the ferry sector

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The SMA (Swedish Maritime Administration) will introduce a new fee system for its fairway dues and pilot fees. It is the intention of the SMA to implement this new system on 1 January 2018.
Two of the taxation components are the passenger and cargo fees, which affect the ferry industry.
To see the full explanation about the fees, click on the link below.
Finnish politicians and ferry owners, such as Viking Line, have protested. The new system means, in short, that the more passengers and the more freight a ship carries, and the more often it arrives at a Swedish port, the more expensive it will be for the operator.

Wärtsilä to deliver high efficiency and low emissions for new Viking Line ferry

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Wärtsilä will supply the engines, the navigation system, and a broad scope of other products and systems for the environmentally friendly cruise ferry being built for Viking Line. The ship is being built at the Xiamen Shipbuilding Industry yard in China and there is an option for a second vessel.
Commencing in early 2021, the new vessel will operate between Turku and Stockholm. The ship is the first LNG fuelled ferry of this size and standard to be built in China.

What’s up St Peterline?

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Managing director of the ferry operator Moby SPL LTD Sergei Kotenev gave an interview to Russian online media ‘Expert’.

Some highlights

  • The company went from two ferries to one. This required creating a new, complex timetable.
  • Depending on which crossing, guests can stay up to 72 hours without a visa in St.Petersburg. The new element is an overnight stay on board. This initiative is successful, but not as much as SPL would like. Therefore, next year SPL plans to create a new schedule with a two-week cycle. If necessary, SPL (Moby Lines) can supply the second vessel.
  • International sanctions against Russia did only affect the visits to St. Petersburg slightly. Sergei Kotenev says that prices are very attractive for foreign visitors.
  • No relaxation of visa procedures for Russians expected in the actual political climate. However, the Russian passenger is important. Average age 35-55 years.
  • Main target markets are Scandinavia, Germany and China.
  • St. Petersburg as the cultural capital not only of Russia, but of the world. Destination with huge potential, however the political situation makes it necessary to adjust business plans every year, every quarter.
  • If business booms Moby can easily transfer a ship from the Med to the Baltic.
  • For a while SPL ran the services from the Marine Façade terminal. Since this is a passenger-only terminal the ferry operator had to move to Maritime Station where ferry cargo is accepted.
  • In winter ice-class ships are needed, and these are hard to find. A dedicated vessel should be build. Kotenev says that “we have a project for a cruise ferry, which is designed to travel more than the traditional five days.”

Ro-ro and ferry: Port of Toulon’s golden niche markets

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The French port of Toulon has again seen a significant rise in freight traffic from Turkish operator UN RoRo. The last twelve months have seen a rise of 9.7% of freight (= 66,345 units). The nine first months of 2017 have even been better, with an increase of 13% to 14%.
Ships sail almost full at 90% of their capacity, both inwards and outwards.
In the beginning of this year one the vessels –UN AKDENIZ– was reintroduced after lengthening. YouTube link
A second vessel will be lengthened soon.

Toulon is strongly associated with Corsica Sardinia Ferries, with here as well an excellent twelve months. The ferries transported more than 1.5 million passengers, an increase of 6.4%.
The new line to Sardinia was good for some 100,000 passengers. Next year Corsica Ferries will open a new route to Mallorca.
Moby Lines could return in 2019, for a link with Bastia (which will be operated out of Nice in 2018).
Freight to and from the island of Corsica has gone down, which can be explained by the competition of Corsica Linea from Marseille.

Photo © UN RoRo – Source: L’Antenne (in French)

WDR orders catamaran ferry for the North Frisian Wadden Sea

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Wyker Dampfschiffs-Reederei Föhr-Amrum GmbH (W.D.R.) and Dutch shipyard Talsma have signed the contract for the construction of a 34m passenger-only catamaran.
She will enter service in spring 2019 and expand the existing WDR conventional ferry offer to passengers without cars.
The aluminium vessel has been designed by Conoship from Groningen, and can accommodate around 150 passengers in winter and 250 in summer.
The challenge was to find a suitable vessel that has the best performance within the speed regulation parameters in the protected Wadden Sea. Her maximum speed will be 20 knots, which against the current will still allow her to reach 16 knots.

Photo © WDR

Deal between Attica and Grimaldi Group consolidates Greek ferry scene

By | 2017 Newsletter week 44 | No Comments

The fight for the ownership of Hellenic Seaways (HSW) is over. Attica Holdings and Grimaldi Group have reached an agreement on October 26, where HSW will be almost fully owned by Attica

  • Minoan Lines, a Grimaldi Group company, will transfer all its HSW shares (48.53%) to Attica Holdings, for €78.5 million. The latter already became the majority shareholder in August when acquiring 50.3% of the share capital from Piraeus Bank.
  • Attica Ferries Maritime Company will sell ro-pax SUPERFAST XII to a company within the Grimaldi Group. Price tag: €74,5 million. The SUPERFAST XII is currently operating on the long route Piraeus – Patmos – Leros – Kalymnos – Kos – Rhodes & Syros – Katapola, for the Blue Star Ferries brand.
  • Fast (car) ferry HIGHSPEED 7 will change hands from Hellenic Seaways to Minoan Lines for €25 million. HIGHSPEED 7 operates from Heraklion to Santorini
  • The completion of the deal will need to be approved by the Greek competition authority.

This deal is the most logic solution for the control over HSW, where two competitors basically both owned half of the company, with Attica at a small advantage. There was only one way: either Grimaldi, or Attica had to become the sole owner.

Now that Attica fully controls HSW, it will certainly create a high degree of rationalization on the Greek domestic routes. Attica/HSW will have the Aegean, and Grimaldi Group will –via Minoan Lines– have the Crete routes to Piraeus and Santorini / Cyclades. Grimaldi gets money to invest, and gets two modern ships.

Attica/HSW will now be able to reshuffle ships and routes for a better utilization. This economy of scale will be something attractive for investors. The domestic horizon will change, for sure.
It is noteworthy to remember that Attica also has a cooperation with ANEK Lines, on Crete (Heraklion and Chania, the headquarters of ANEK) and in the Adriatic. Could this cooperation develop further? Time will tell.

Part of the deal is the sale of the SUPERFAST XII to a company within the Grimaldi Group. This ro-pax was built in 2002 bij Flender Werft, Lübeck.

Photos © Mike Louagie

CMAL sees a growth in ferry demand

By | 2017 Newsletter week 42 | No Comments

Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL) has published the annual report for the year ending on 31 March 2017. CMAL owns the ferries, ports, and infrastructure necessary for vital ferry services serving the West Coast of Scotland and the Clyde Estuary, and is fully owned by the Scottish Government.
In his foreword, Chairman Erik Østergaard sums up the following highlights

  •  £29 million was spent in the construction of new vessels, including the completion of CATRIONA
  • £97 million was spent for the building of two new LNG ferries.
  • There is special project to explore the potential for a hydrogen-fuelled ferry.
  •  As the harbour authority for 26 locations across the west coast of Scotland, CMAL invested £24 million in planned upgrade works at selected harbours, including the flagship project at Brodick Ferry Terminal.
  • In 2016/17, CMAL generated revenue of £35,913,000, compared to £33,549,000 in 2015/16. The increase is mainly due to increased harbour dues and revenue grants.
  •  Pre-tax profits increased from £813,000 to £5,524,000 with increased harbour dues and revenue grants as noted, along with a decrease in administration costs.
  • A tax charge in 2016/17 against a significant tax credit in 2015/16 has resulted in post-tax profit of £3,063,000 compared to £7,869,000 in 2015/16.
  • Demand for ferry services continues to grow, driven in part by the road equivalent tariff (RET), as well as the growing popularity of Scotland’s islands as visitor destinations.
  • A new 90m ro-pax ferry will be ordered in late 2018, for delivery in 2021.

Photo © Mike Louagie

A ferry connection between Turku and St. Petersburg?

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The Finnish management of Port of Turku paid a visit to St Petersburg at the beginning of October. This happened within the framework of cooperation between PP SPb MF (Passenger Port St Petersburg Marine Façade) and Port of Turku. A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed in July. The aim is, amongst others, to improve the attractiveness of cruise and ferry tourism, and to create the most comfortable environment for passengers of cruise and ferry vessels, representatives of cruise and ferry lines and tour operators.
Moreover, the companies said they intend to develop a joint initiative on attracting operators of cruise lines and ferry lines in order to organize regular international ferry connection between the two ports.
The Finnish group included Sales Director Nirhamo Jaakko, Vice-Chairman of the Board Raaska Petja and Business Development Manager Anstead Paula.

Photo © Mike Louagie