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By | 2024 Newsletter week 28 | No Comments

South Korea’s KT Marine held a welcoming ceremony for its new vessel, a Damen Fast Ferry 4212 named Hamel. The company placed its order for the vessel earlier this year. The rapid delivery is the result of Damen’s serial construction of vessels for stock. 

Hamel will transport up to 423 passengers at speeds of up to 40 knots. She will operate a route between Yeosu Harbour and Geomundo Island.  

Hamel is the seventh Damen Fast Ferry, and the fifth Fast Ferry 4212, to be delivered to South Korea in recent years. 

Source: Damen 

Ruby Express is the name chosen for the fourth vessel for the company L’Express des Iles, a company in the FRS Group. She’s the former Algeciras Express. 

A new side roro access ramp has been installed last week. In July the vessel will sail to the Caribbean for her new role. 

On May 2024 the Danish Molslinjen announced that its HSC Max Mols has been sold to a Mediterranean ferry operator. According to information the ship will be delivered in the end of 2024, while many suggest that she was probably sold to a Greek ferry operator without having any Greek information at the moment. The ship served for many years the Aarhus-Odden route but also been on the Rønne – Ystad route (Bornholm route). Max Mols was built in Australia (1998/Incat).  

Photo: Wikipedia 

According to Greek press (Source: Kathimerini), rumour has it that Attica Group is in advanced discussions with Chinese shipyards to build eight ships by 2029. The company’s goal is to decarbonize its fleet by 2030. The specific investment plan includes:  

  • 2 E-Flexers announced last week that will be introduced in the Adriatic service by 2027. 
  • 2 larger AERO High-speed craft for the Saronic Island service 
  • 4 more ships for Cyclades, Dodecanese and North Aegean run (2 medium-size ferries, 2 high-speed ferries).  

Finally, the 3 ships that will be released from the Adriatic service (SUPERFAST XI, SUPERFAST III and HELLENIC SPIRIT) will serve the domestic market. 

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By | 2024 Newsletter week 27 | No Comments

At Guangzhou Shipyard International, China, the keel laying ceremony took place for the third new RoPax vessel commissioned by GNV. The LNG-fuelled new ship, already renamed GNV VIRGO, will have a capacity for 1,785 passengers, 420 cabins, and 2,780 lane metres. It is scheduled for delivery before the end of 2026.  

The fourth unit, still to be named, will also be dual-fuel LNG, while the first two under construction at GSI in China are fitted with scrubbers.  

GNV Polaris will be delivered before the end of the current year and GNV Orion in 2025. 

Bridgemans Services Group have renewed their agreement with Trinidad and Tobago’s Ministry of Works and Transport (MOWT) for RoRo Cabo Star to continue to connect Port of Spain and Scarborough until January 2026. 

The vessel has been an integral support to the Trinidad and Tobago economy since starting the regularly scheduled sea bridge service between the Port of Spain and the Port of Scarborough seven years ago, in 2017.  

Cabo Star now makes approximately 288 round trips between the ports on the islands of Trinidad and Tobago annually, reliably transporting approximately 66,000 vehicles, 5,500 trucks and trailers, 2,500 containers and 4,100 flatbeds each year.   

Source: Bridgemans 

Baleària’s new fast ferry Margarita Salas’ is carrying out its natural gas sea trials. 

Soon she will be ready to sail between Barcelona, Ciutadella de Menorca and Alcudia, Mallorca. 

Photo: Baleària 

On Friday 28 June 2024, the keel laying ceremony of the first of the two all-new NewMax hybrid vessels took place in China Merchants Jinling Shipyard in WeiHai, China.  

Stena Futura, the chosen name for this ship, is one of two NewMax hybrid vessels that will play a key role in Stena Line’s journey to sustainable fuel as they will both be able to operate on methanol fuel. 

Baleària and Fred. Olsen Express have increased their activity on the route between Huelva and the Canary Islands with a fourth weekly connection in both directions between July 1 and September 30. The additional departure is necessary to meet the high demand expected for this summer period, both for passengers and freight. 

Source: Port of Huelva 

On June 29, HSC Hellenic Highspeed left Greece, chartered to Africa Morocco Link for the summer season of 2024. The ship is expected to enter service on the Algeciras – Tanger Med route on July 6, and she will remain until the end of the season. 

Photo: Attica Group 

It is reported that Finikas Lines’ Finikas Highspeed (ex Sfakia Pionner/Oniyouzu) has been introduced on the Corfu – Agioi Saranda (Albania) route on July 1, 2024. The ship was initially purchased by the Cretan based Anendyk Seaways on February 2019 for the Sfakia-Gavdos route. However, she remained laid up at the port of Souda (Crete) until March 2024 and sold to the Albania-based Finikas Lines. 

Photo: Finikas Lines 

Greek Saronic Ferries has chosen Swedish Nowhere Networks as supplier of high-speed internet for its fleet consisting of five ships operating in the Saronic region of Greece. 

Read more on Nowhere Networks 

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By | 2024 Newsletter week 26 | No Comments

MSC-controlled GNV (Grandi Navi Veloci) celebrated the launching at Guangzhou Shipyard International of the newly-built GNV ORION, second of four new ro-pax ships commissioned by the Geneva-based MSC Group.

The delivery will take place during the summer 2025 while the first unit (renamed GNV POLARIS) is scheduled for delivery before the end of the current year.

GNV POLARIS and GNV ORION will be 218m long with a capacity for 1,785 passengers and 3,100 lane metres of freight.

Two more sister ships will follow and will be LNG-powered.

Liberty Lines, a company owned by the Morace family, has taken delivery of the second high-speed craft named CRISTINA M, sister ship of the VITTORIO MORACE, built by Astilleros Armon shipyard in Navia, Spain.

With a length of 39.5 meters and a capacity of 251 passengers, it is the second HSC hybrid fast unit under construction. It is equipped with two MTU-Rolls Royce hybrid engines, allowing it to operate entirely in electric mode within ports before recharging the batteries while sailing at 30 knots in open sea.

CRISTINA M is the second of the 9 innovative fast hybrid ships that will join the fleet by 2026 and 2027 and be deployed on the routes to and from Sicily.

Polferries has announced the start of ticket sales for their new ship, the Varsovia. Replacing the Cracovia on the Świnoujście-Ystad route from July 27, 2024, the Varsovia will offer daily departures.

Polferries RoPax Cracovia will leave the Świnoujście-Ystad line on July 1, 2024 and will be employed in the Mediterranean Sea for the next year. Charterer unknown.

As the construction of Spirit of Tasmania IV nears completion, the ship took to the open seas for the first time on a five-day trial run from Rauma Marine Constructions Oy in Finland.

It is reported that Africa Morocco Link chartered Virtu Ferries’ HSC Maria Dolores mid-June. The ship is operating on the Tarifa – Tanger Ville route along with Morocco Express 1, which was recently introduced following the successful agreement between Stena and Attica Group. HSC Maria Dolores was active on the above route, chartered (2022-2023) by the collapsed Moroccan Intershipping and then laid up at Valletta (Malta). She was built in Australia (2006).

Photo: Austal

Magic Sea Ferries reported that its HSC Cat 1 (1994), will be introduced on the Lavrion-Kea-Kythnos-Serifos-Sifnos-Milos route on July 4, 2024.

Last summer, she served on the Mandoudi (Evia) – Sporades line. She was built in Japan (1994). Her carrying capacity is for 1000 passengers and 200 cars.

Photo: Kostas Papadopoulos

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By | 2024 Newsletter week 25 | No Comments

Godby Shipping’s RoRo Midas has been time-chartered by CMA CGM until December 2026.

Before, Midas will undergo class renewal docking in Turkey. After the dry dock, Midas will replace Mimer (photo) in the Caribbean.

Subsequently, Mimer will go for her class renewal docking and will then be available for new opportunities.

Godby Shipping estimates that the dry docking of both vessels will extend their lifespans by approximately 10 years.

Last week, DFDS took part in the opening of Milence’s third truck charging park in the Port of Antwerp-Bruges. This new facility, featuring ten powerful CCS chargers with a capacity of up to 400 kW each, supports 20 parking spaces for electric trucks. It is the largest charging park in Europe and the first in Belgium, providing significant support for DFDS’s position as Europe’s largest electric heavy-duty truck fleet operator.

Source: DFDS on Linkedin

Irish Ferries’ new Oscar Wilde started operating on Calais-Dover. The vessel is well-known on this route. She was the Spirit of Britain and operated for P&O Ferries since 2011.

Irish Ferries will have this vessel together with Isle of Inishmore and Isle of Inisheer on the English Channel.

Attica Group’s RoPax Superfast XI has been undergoing annual maintenance at the Perama repair zone since May 20, 2024. The popular red ship was also dry docked and is expected to return to her Adriatic service (Patras-Igoumenitsa-Ancona route) on June 30, 2024. She was built in Germany in 2002. Her carrying capacity is 1,820 passengers and 650 cars (1,920 lane meters). She can ply at 28 knots.

Photo: Kostas Papadopoulos

Salamis Lines’ RoRo Akritas is also at the Perama repair zone for her scheduled annual repairs and dry docking. The ship left her Lavrion (Greece) – Limassol (Cyprus) service on June 6 and is expected to return to service on June 22, 2024. She was built in Finland in 1982.

Photo: Dimitris Mendakis

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By | 2024 Newsletter week 24 | No Comments

On June 13, 2024 Magic Sea Ferries’ HSC Magic 1 made her maiden voyage on the Piraeus – Agia Marina – Hydra route. The ship will offer two daily sailings from Piraeus and Hydra.

The craft was purchased on March 2024 in Singapore. She was built in 2023. Her carrying capacity is for 317 passengers and it has a 32 knots maximum speed.

Photo: Kostas Papadopoulos

RoRo Thalassitis (formerly Jan Sniadecki) of the Greek-based cargo company Aeinaftis is currently undergoing conversion at Neos Molos (Drapetsona). The ship was purchased from Unity Line in February 2024. Her conversion as a RoRo primarily focuses on her garage and internal ramps, and she is expected to be dry-docked at the end of June. The ship will enhance the company’s presence on routes in the North Aegean and Crete. RoRo Thalassitis’ carrying capacity is 1,116 lane metres (102 trucks).

Photo: Anastasios Anastasiou

Virtu Rapid Ferries Ltd has concluded a time charter agreement with Stena Line Scandinavia AB for the HSC Maria Dolores, covering the Spain-Morocco route. The vessel, which operated on this route from April 2022 to December 2023, recently completed a short-term charter in the Eastern Mediterranean and underwent routine maintenance in Malta.

The vessel will operate for Africa Morocco Link, the company in which Stena has 49% of the shares, announced in April 2024.

Source: Virtu Finance on Malta Stock Exchange and Photo: Austal

Loch Indaal was launched on 8 June at the Cemre shipyard. The vessel is the second of four ferries being built at the yard and will serve Islay and Jura alongside sister vessel, Isle of Islay, which was launched in March.

Scheduled for delivery in February 2025, Loch Indaal will significantly boost capacity on the Islay routes, with the ability to accommodate up to 450 passengers and 100 cars, or 14 commercial vehicles. This addition will increase vehicle and freight capacity by 40% on the Islay routes, strengthening the overall fleet’s resilience.

Photo courtesy of Brian Fulton.

Ystad Hamn Logistik AB has appointed Erik Eskling Hansen as Business Developer, a new role in which he will oversee the commercial development of the port, including ferry traffic and conventional cargo handling, as well as external communications related to public and media relations. Erik will assume his position on June 24.

The Italian government has chartered the GNV Azzurra to serve as a floating hotel in the port of Brindisi, accommodating police officers who are providing security for this week’s G7 summit at Borgo Egnazia, a luxury resort in the Puglia region. The GNV ferry, which can host approximately 2,000 passengers, was brought in to increase available accommodation following the impoundment of the cruise ship Goddess of the Night due to complaints about poor conditions on board.

Earlier this week, unions reported poor sanitary conditions on the impounded cruise ship, citing unusable cabins, water leaks, broken toilets, and faulty air conditioning, which necessitated relocating those on board to hotels and another vessel. The Italian government is estimated to have spent around EUR 6 million to charter the cruise vessel for the duration of the G7 summit.

Washington State is advancing its ferry fleet with the launch of a national contracting process to build five new hybrid-electric ferries. These vessels, expected to be delivered between 2028 and 2030, aim to replace aging diesel ferries, reducing emissions significantly.

The initiative supports state goals for greenhouse gas reduction and includes funding from the Climate Commitment Act and Move Ahead Washington. This shift to hybrid-electric ferries promises a cleaner, more sustainable future for Washington’s ferry system. For detailed information, visit the WSDOT blog.

Nikolai Knudsmoen Utheim has taken over as CEO of Boreal Norge AS.

Utheim has broad management experience and comes from the company Coor Service Management AS where he has held various management positions. In Norway, Coor has a turnover of more than NOK 2 billion and has around 2,000 employees.

Former CEO Kjetil Førsvoll will assist Boreal as a senior advisor for a period before he retires.

Boreal currently has 2,700 employees and a turnover of NOK 4.1 billion.

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By | 2024 Newsletter week 23 | No Comments

The fast ferry Margarita Salas of Baleària has commenced its first navigation trials in Gijón. This vessel, currently in the final stages of construction at the Armon shipyards, is notable for being the second fast ferry in the world equipped with dual gas engines. It is a sister ship to the Eleanor Roosevelt and features enhancements such as a 10% increase in power and additional passenger capacity due to a second passenger deck.

The Margarita Salas will connect Barcelona with Menorca and Mallorca, offering improved speed and comfort while maintaining eco-efficiency through the use of LNG engines.

For more details, you can visit the original press release on Baleària’s website (in Spanish).

EQT company Torghatten’s self-driving electric ferry Estelle had its premiere on Thursday, writes Dagens Industri.

The inauguration and maiden voyage took place on Thursday, but starting on Tuesday next week, Estelle, named after the princess, will operate on Norra Mälarstrand/Söder Mälarstrand in Riddarfjärden in Stockholm.

The ferry is described as the world’s first commercial self-driving passenger ferry and the EQT-owned Norwegian shipping company Torghatten is behind the venture.

Attica Group has chartered the RoPax Af Claudia from Adria Ferries for 12 months. The ship will serve the Patras-Igoumenitsa-Venice route, replacing Superfast Ferries’ Ariadne, which will be moved to the Piraeus-Heraklion line. Af Claudia began its journey from Patras on June 4 under the Superfast Ferries brand. Previously used by Grimaldi and DFDS, the vessel was built in 2001 at the Visentini shipyard in Italy and can carry 1,000 passengers (306 berths) and 2,044 lane meters.

Photo: Adria Ferries

Starting June 8, 2024, Blue Star Patmos will service the North Aegean route, connecting Piraeus with Mykonos, Mesta (Chios), and Sigri (Mytilene) until August 31, 2024. Departing at noon, the ship will reach its final destination at 11 PM. This route, successful since its inauguration in June 2021, will feature the modern vessel Blue Star Patmos, built in 2012 at Daewoo shipyard. The ship has a capacity of 2,000 passengers, 430 cars, and sails at 25.5 knots.

Photo: Blue Star Ferries

Dalmatia, the largest ship in Jadrolinija’s Adriatic fleet, set sail on 3 July, on her maiden voyage from Dubrovnik to Bari. The vessel is the former Oslofjord.

Source: Jadrolinija (in Croatian)

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By | 2024 Newsletter week 22 | No Comments

Mjølner is ready for the Trondheim Fjord. The vessel that will operate the 810 Trondheim – Vanvikan connection has been handed over from shipbuilders Oma Baatbyggeri AS.

Mjølner is the first of four new hybrid high-speed ferries that will sail electrically in the Trondheim Fjord.

Source: Norled Linkedin > Photo: Transport Photo

Mjølner is ready for the Trondheim Fjord. The vessel that will operate the 810 Trondheim – Vanvikan connection has been handed over from shipbuilders Oma Baatbyggeri AS.

Mjølner is the first of four new hybrid high-speed ferries that will sail electrically in the Trondheim Fjord.

Source: Norled Linkedin > Photo: Transport Photo

On May 22, 2024 Ro Pax Med Star (ex-Västervik) arrived at the port of Piraeus under tow. The ship left Gibraltar on May 9. She was purchased at a tender from the collapsed Moroccan Intershipping. Her new owner is reported to be Starlines, which operating on the Italy-Albania service. The ship is currently at Neos Molos (Drapetsona) waiting for a refit.

Photo: Anastasios Anastasiou

On May 24, 2024 the fully renovated Superfast III (ex-Olympic Champion) arrived at the port of Patras and joined her fleet mates on the Patras – Igoumenitsa – Ancona route.

The ship underwent a serious refit at Perama Repair Zone. She will serve along with her fleet mates Superfast IX and Hellenic Spirit.

Photo: Kostas Papadopoulos

On May 24, 2024 AML’s HSC Morocco Express 1 (ex-Highspeed 3, Boraq) left Greece in order to meet her fleet mate HSC Caldera Vista in Spain. The ship underwent a serious refit and upgrades at Perama repair zone since October 2023.

On May 28, 2024, she arrived at the port of Palma del Mallorca and then went to Algeciras for certification. She is expected to enter service on the Tarifa – Tanger Ville line on May 31.

Photo: Kostas Papadopoulos

As part of Stena Line’s sustainable journey, the company is now starting a project to retrofit Superfast VII and VIII vessels so that they are ready to run on alternative energy sources such as e-methanol and take shore power electricity.

The engines of the Superfast VII and VIII are of a similar type to those of Stena Germanica which was converted in 2015. By using the knowledge and experience from the Stena Germanica retrofitting, Stena Line can modify the Superfast vessels effectively and efficiently. The retrofitting will take place during late 2025 and early 2026 and replacement ships will be provided for the route as per normal refit procedure.

Source and photo: Stena Line >

Katy Taylor will become Wightlink CEO from Monday 19 August 2024. This follows Keith Greenfield’s retirement from the Isle of Wight ferry company after nine years at the helm.

Katy joins from Southern Water, where she has been Chief Customer Officer since 2021. Previously, she was Chief Customer and Strategy Officer at international bus and train operator Go-Ahead Group, which includes Isle of Wight bus company Southern Vectis.

Source: Wightlink >

In April this year, Malmö got another connection to the Continent when Finnlines’ Finnfellow entered service between Sweden and Poland. On May 28, the shipping company’s new line was celebrated with an official inauguration on board the ship. The inauguration ribbon in Swedish-Polish colours was cut by Finnlines’ management and the Mayor of Malmö Municipality Katrin Stjernfeldt Jammeh (S).

Source: Finnlines >

CalMac is recruiting. CalMac Ferries Ltd is seeking a CEO. Find out more here >.

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By | 2024 Newsletter week 21 | No Comments

Last week, the Tasmanian government confirmed that Spirit operator, TT-Line, had agreed in March to pay an additional $81 million to Finnish shipbuilder Rauma Marine Constructions, after cost blowout.

This week, it was confirmed the Finnish government had committed to match this amount — and also to underwrite the future financial viability of RMC.

In return, TT-Line removed a key clause from the contract: RMC would no longer have to pay late fees.

Read the full article on ABC.net.au

Photo: RMC

Peel Ports announced plans to explore the first green shipping corridor between the UK and Ireland through a partnership with NatPower Marine. The proposals involve over £100m investment in charging infrastructure for electric vessels, cars, vans, and HGVs at UK and Ireland ports. The initial routes identified are Belfast-Heysham and Dublin-Birkenhead.

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By | 2024 Newsletter week 20 | No Comments

On May 10, 2024, Anek Lines’ Prevelis resumed service on the Piraeus-Chios-Mytilene route after a complete refit at Elefsis shipyards, following a merger with Attica Group. The ship had previously served the Dodecanese line for 12 years until May 2023, then briefly chartered by Aegean Sea Lines for the Piraeus-Serifos-Sifnos-Milos-Santorini route from June 30 to August 3, 2023.

Photo: Anek Lines

On April 24, 2024, it was reported that Intershippings’ RoPax Med Star was sold to Starlines. The ship was laid up in Gibraltar for 10 months and is currently under tow to Greece.

She was sold in Greece in 2008 (Endeavor Lines) as the Princess T.

In 2013, she was chartered to Gotlandsbåten AB and renamed Västervik but plans failed.

In 2015, she had an unsuccessful presence on the Igoumenitsa-Kefalonia (Sami)-Corfu-Bari route. In August 2017 she was eventually sold to the Moroccan Inter Shipping for the Algeciras – Tanger Med route.

From 2018 to 2023 she served sporadically on the above line until her operator’s collapse. She will be probably used on the Italy-Albania service.

Photo: Matt Davies

On 14 May, Tallink Grupp’s vessel Superfast IX (currently named Atlantic Vision) was redelivered to the company at the Port of Odense in Denmark. The vessel has been chartered to Canada and operating between Newfoundland and Sydney, Nova Scotia for the last 15 years.

The vessel completed its final trip on its Canadian route on 15 March this year, and left Canada in early April.  For the last month, the vessel has been berthed in a shipyard in Denmark, where it has been prepared for the handover to Tallink Grupp ahead of the charter contract ending on 14 May 2024.

Superfast IX is expected to arrive in Tallinn on 16 May. The vessel will initially be berthed at Paljassaare port until decisions are made regarding the vessel’s next operations.

Baleària has reintroduced the “Passió per Formentera” ferry on the Ceuta-Algeciras route, enhancing comfort and eco-efficiency. The ferry now features improvements such as upgraded seating, expanded services, and greater energy efficiency, contributing to a more sustainable and comfortable travel experience. For more details, visit Baleària’s press release.

Building upon the success of the Stena Germanica in 2015, Lloyd’s Register (LR) and Stena Lines will work together on a project to retrofit two Superfast vessels with methanol propulsion.

The conversion will see the Stena Superfast VII and Stena Superfast VIII ferries, which operate on the Scotland to Northern Ireland route between Cairnryan and Belfast, converted to methanol dual-fuel propulsion with the vessels transferring class to LR.

As part of the project, the retrofit process will convert two out of the four main engines in each vessel to run on methanol alongside MGO (Marine Gas Oil). The ship’s bunkering, storage, fuel supply and supporting systems will also be adapted for methanol.

Source: LR

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By | 2024 Newsletter week 19 | No Comments

Finnlines, in partnership with GIT Coatings, is accelerating its decarbonization efforts by adopting XGIT-FUEL, an innovative graphene-based hard foul release hull coating, across its ro-ro and ro-pax fleets. Starting with their first vessel in 2022, Finnlines has already applied this high-performance hull coating to four vessels as part of a recently signed fleet agreement, reducing fuel consumption and emissions by around 7% compared to previously used coating.

Source: Gitcoatings

On May 8, 2024, Asterion II entered the port of Piraeus fully refreshed following a period of a serious refit and upgrades at Elefsis shipyards. The ship is sporting the Anek Lines livery and expected to serve initially on the Piraeus – Heraklion route with her fleet mate Kissamos. She used to serve on the Patras – Venice line under Superfast Ferries operation. After the successful merger of Anek Lines from Attica Group it was decided to enter the domestic ferry service replacing Kriti II.

Photo: Kostas Papadopoulos

On May 6, 2024, HSC Caldera Vista departed for Spain (Tarifa) following the decision of Africa Morocco Link (AML) to operate on the Tarifa – Tanger Ville line with two highspeed crafts. Caldera Vista was chartered from Seajets and will be followed by HSC Morocco Express 1 (ex-Highspeed 3), which undergoing a serious refit and upgrades at Perama repair zone since October 2023.

Photo: Kostas Papadopoulos