Regent, the builder a new generation of electric hydrofoiling wing-in-ground (WIG) effect craft, has added German ferry operator FRS to its growing list of customers.
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
- 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 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
- 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.
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
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 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.
FRS Buys Catamaran For The New ‘Königslinie’
In April Stena Line announced the end of the ferry service between Sassnitz and Trelleborg.
FRS has now announced it will reopen the so-called Königslinie (*) in September.
FRS has agreed with Fjord Line to acquire its HSC FJORD CAT. It will operate for Fjord Line until August 23. One month later, FRS will start its new operation.
Instead of Trelleborg, FRS will sail to Ystad.
Crossing time will be 2h30, allowing for two return trips per day.
Bookings can be made from July onwards via the website www.koenigslinjen.com(*) Köningslinie or King’s Line: the name originates from the German emperor and Swedish king who attended the festive route opening ceremony in 1897.
After a six-month period, FRS has decided not to extent the charter of the A-SHIPS Management’s GOLDEN BRIDGE.
The ship will soon return back to Greece. She will be temporarily replaced by Transmediterranean’s VRONSKIY on the Motril – Melilla line.
The Japanese-build vessel was chartered to FRS Iberia on April 2019 and entered service on the Motril – Melilla run on June 2019, after having completed successfully all the proper inspections.
This has been announced on the company’s website. The FRS service has been stopped on 5 August and will continue under the wings of Balearia Caribbean.
In 2017, casino & leisure group Genting partnered with German company FRS Caribbean to offer the ferry service from Miami. Genting is now partnering with Balearia.