FRS to acquire French Caribbean company L’Express des Îles

By | 2024 Newsletter week 08 | No Comments

Flensburg-based FRS acquires L’Express des Îles, a company operating in the Caribbean Sea. This move is part of FRS’s strategic realignment, following the successful sale of FRS Iberia, with a focus on diversifying the range of offered routes.

For the past 37 years, Guadeloupe-based L’Express des Îles has been synonymous with outstanding and reliable service.

Headquartered at the Bergevin ferry terminal in Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe, the company, initially known as “Antilles Trans Express (ATE)” began by offering fast ferry services between the islands of Guadeloupe, Les Saintes, and Marie Galante—all French overseas territories.

In 1989, it expanded services to Martinique and Dominica, followed by St. Lucia in 1994.

Today, the company operates three high-speed catamarans in collaboration with its subsidiary, “Jeans for Freedom,” serving multiple national and international routes.

FRS sells subsidiary FRS Iberia to DFDS

By | 2023 Newsletter week 38 | No Comments

Time to say goodbye to the red dolphin: FRS is separating from the subsidiary FRS Iberia.

In the future, the ferry lines between Spain and Morocco are going to be operated by DFDS.

FRS Iberia/Maroc operates three short-sea ferry routes across the Strait of Gibraltar:

  • Algeciras-Tanger Med
  • Algeciras-Ceuta
  • Tarifa-Tanger Ville

Prognosis for the year 2023:

  • 3 million freight lane metres
  • 9 million passengers
  • 370,000 cars

Actual fleet:

  • 5 high-speed catamarans
  • 2 Ro-Pax
  • 1 Ro-Ro

For DFDS, FRS Iberia/Maroc’s key expected financials for 2023 are revenues of DKK 1.0-1.2bn, EBITDA-margin of 18-20%, and EBIT-margin of 11-12%.

The Iberia business has experienced extraordinary success over the course of two decades, despite strong competition. The company is now one of the market leaders in ferry traffic between Spain and Morocco, with strong expertise in the operation of fast ferries and freight traffic. Within the 14 ferry lines of the FRS Group, FRS Iberia is the strongest pillar.

For the CEO of FRS, Götz Becker, the sale of the Iberia business is an important step for the expansion into new markets and a modernized, low-emission development of the ferry group.


What are the advantages for DFDS?

  • Ferry network expanded to high-growth Strait of Gibraltar market.
  • 8% annual average market growth expected next 5 years.
  • Attractive transaction terms.
  • Ferry infrastructure & operational development opportunities.

For more insights, consult the PowerPoint presentation presented at the conference call for investors.

From “Ponte” to “Poniente”

By | 2023 Newsletter week 24 | No Comments

FRS announced that it has acquired the high-speed Incat catamaran HSC ARTEMIS to enhance its operations in the Strait of Gibraltar.  The fast ferry has been renamed PONIENTE JET and is undergoing a complete refurbishment.

It can accommodate 640 passengers, 180 vehicles, and up to 330 linear meters of cargo.

The PONIENTE JET will join the FRS fleet in July.

Previously the vessel was in service with Ponte Ferries, starting in November 2021, followed by a complete stop in September 2022.

Ambitious concept for green mobility of the FRS Elbe ferry Glückstadt Wischhafen

By | 2022 Newletter week 16 | No Comments

Shortly before the state elections in Schleswig-Holstein and in Lower Saxony, FRS Elbfähre Glückstadt Wischhafen is presenting its ambitious concept for green mobility in northern Germany.

This key project for Germany envisages an expansion of the ferry line capacity to 600% and a reduction of the crossing time to 14 minutes in three steps – and this with completely emission-free traffic.

The concept of the FRS Elbe ferry offers a real alternative to the fixed A20 crossing through sustainable and environmentally friendly ferry traffic without waiting times.

For the implementation, however, the shipping company needs planning and investment security as well as political support.

1st step: building four zero-emission electric ferries: +300% capacity increase

  • larger capacity than the previous ferries
  • in cooperation with naval architects Technolog Services
  • double-ended
  • pier in Wischhafen will be relocated in the direction of the Elbe fairway and designed as a double pier. The simultaneous loading and unloading of two ferries in Wischhafen, together with the shortened route, ensures a higher frequency and number of departures
  • green electricity, which is obtained through a combined use of photovoltaic systems from open land areas and covered car storage areas as well as port operating areas. The first step brings an increase in capacity to 300%.

2nd step: pier in Glückstadt converted into a double pier: +400%

3rd step: two more zero-emission double-ended ferries can optionally be built to increase the total capacity to 600%.

FRS suspends some of its Mediterranean routes

By | 2021 Newsletter week 49 | No Comments

FRS decided to suspend the routes between Mallorca and Menorca (Alcúdia-Ciutadella) as from 15 December 2021. This ferry connection had been started on 27 May 2021 with fast ferry TARIFA JET.

The route between Ibiza and Formentera (Eivissa-La Savina) will also be shut down. It started on 28 June, with fast ferry SAN GWANN.

FRS also terminates the connection between the Spanish exclave Melilla and the Andalusian port of Motril.

The decision is motivated by the current situation of COVID in Europe and North Africa, which represents a significant reduction in passenger traffic and, consequently, these routes generate losses.

Travel subsidies for the inhabitants of the islands also created a competition with the low-cost model of FRS.

An overview based on the FRS website:

  • Alcúdia-Ciutadella: suspended on 15 December 2021
  • Algeciras-Ceuta: fully running
  • Tarifa-Tangier Ville: temporarily suspended
  • Algeciras-Tangier Med: temporarily suspended
  • Motril-Melilla: suspended on 10 December 2021
  • Ibiza-Formentera: suspended
  • Motril-Tangier Med: temporarily suspended

Spain – Canary Islands: FRS Leaves, Armas Returns

By | 2021 Newsletter week 30 | No Comments
  • As from 31 July, Armas takes over the Huelva-Canary route from FRS

FRS will stop operating the weekly connection between Huelva, Lanzarote, Gran Canaria and Tenerife that it had maintained since July 2018 through a freight agreement with Naviera Armas.

This three-year agreement was made with the Spanish fair competition commission (CNMC), to allow Naviera Armas to acquire Trasmediterranea.

The last FRS crossing between the Canary Islands and Huelva will be on 29/30 July.

The day after, Naviera Armas will re-operate the route

The ropax continues to be VOLCÁN DE TINAMAR, the same vessel that FRS chartered from Armas for this route.

FRS To Offer Inter-Balearic-Island Services

By | 2021 Newsletter week 19 | No Comments

Competition on the Balearic Islands increases. Two days after the announcement of GNV to enter this market, the German company FRS said it will start operating the Alcúdia – Cituadella route at the end of May.

At the beginning of June, the Ibiza-Formentera line will be added.

The FRS routes will be operated by fast ferries:

TARIFA JET on Alcudia – Ciutadela / 1h15min / 777 pax / 175 cars

SAN GWANN on Ibiza – Formentera / 427 pax / 15 cars

Perfect Debut for FRS’ High-Speed Craft SKÅNE JET

By | 2020 Newsletter week 39 | No Comments

FRS Baltic’s high-speed ferry SKÅNE JET made her commercial inaugural voyage on Thursday 17 September.

She sailed from the port of Sassnitz-Mukran to Ystad.

Initially the season will last until November 1. A restart is planned for April

Fjord Line’s former FJORD CAT was built by InCat in 1998. She offers the shortest (111km) and fastest (2h30m) crossing between Germany and Sweden.

FRS Organised A Repatriation Campaign For German Citizens In Morocco

By | 2020 Newsletter week 28 | No Comments

FRS carried out a return trip on Friday, July 3, for mainly German citizens and people of other northern European nationalities who stayed in Morocco after the border closure that the country announced last March. The crossing took place with the FRS ferry KATTEGAT. It brought about 300 passengers and 180 vehicles from Tangier Med to Algeciras.

Last May, FRS organized a return campaign for British citizens.

FRS serves all routes on the Strait of Gibraltar. In 2019, more than 1.9 million passengers, 88,000 vehicles and 114,000 freight units were carried.