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FährNews Aktuell – December 2023 issue

Hello and welcome to the December issue of FährNews Aktuell in 2023. Today’s hot topics include:

  • FINNCANOPUS delivered – when the new flagship will arrive in the Baltic Sea.
  • FUTURA launched – Scandlines’ new zero-emission ferry takes next big step
  • And major investments at the Attica Group – how the Greek shipping group is now progressing following the takeover of ANEK Lines.
  • You can find out all this and much more in this issue of FährNews Aktuell. So make sure you stay tuned until the end so you don’t miss anything!
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And here is the entire December issue of FährNews Aktuell for you to read again:

1 FINNCANOPUS delivered

[1] On December 12, 2023, Finnlines took delivery of the second superstar ship FINNCANOPUS at the China Merchants Jinling shipyard in Weihai. She is now embarking on a seven-week journey to Finland. It is almost fully loaded with cargo and will call at several additional ports on its journey. From February 2024, she will join her sister FINNSIRIUS and serve the evening departure from Naantali and the morning departure from Kapellskär, both via Långnäs on the Åland Islands.

With the takeover of the FINNCANOPUS, Finnlines is completing its EUR 500 million newbuilding program, with which, in addition to the FINNCANOPUS and its sister FINNSIRIUS, three ro-ro vessels have also been added to the Finnlines fleet as newbuildings.

Like its sister, the FINNCANOPUS offers 5200 loading meters of space for cargo and can carry up to 1100 passengers each.

The FINNSWAN, which previously operated on the Finland-Sweden route, will switch to the Travemünde-Malmö route.

2 ISABELLE chartered to Canada

[2] The ISABELLE of the Estonian shipping company Tallink is currently en route to British Columbia on the west coast of Canada. The ship was chartered out to the Bridgemans Services Group, which specializes in the operation of residential ships. In Canada, the ISABELLE is now also to serve as a residential vessel as part of a longer charter contract for workers involved in the construction of an LNG terminal near the town of Squamish.

[3] The CEO of Tallink, Paavo Nõgene, emphasized the positive impact on the company’s balance sheet in a statement on the new charter contract. He also emphasized that charter contracts for Tallink ferries for residential and transport purposes have developed into a good, additional source of income for the company in recent years.

Most recently, the ship has already been used as a residential ship to accommodate Ukrainian refugees as part of a charter contract with the Estonian government.

[4] Bridgemans has already chartered other Tallink ferries as accommodation vessels in the past, such as the former SILJA FESTIVAL, which now operates as the MEGA ANDREA for Corsica Ferries – Sardinia Ferries, and the SILJA EUROPA.

[5] The latter is also currently under charter to the Dutch company Slaapschepen Public, which in turn operates it as accommodation for refugees on behalf of the Dutch Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers.

3 News about Unity Line’s EPSILON

In the last issue of FährNews Aktuell, we reported on the end of the EPSILON’s charter with Irish Ferries. Now there is new information about the whereabouts of the ferry.

[6] From January 2024, the EPSILON, which was previously chartered to Irish Ferries, will now switch to the Unity Line route between Świnoujście and Trelleborg. There it will replace the GALILEUSZ, increasing the number of loading meters from 1830 to 2860.

Unity Line has been operating the route between Poland and Sweden with four ships since February 2007. Most recently, the shipping company recorded positive, steady growth on the route with an annual growth rate of over 10%. In order to cope with the increasing growth, Unity Line will deploy two newbuilds on the Świnoujście-Trelleborg route from 2025. These are currently being built at the Remontowa shipyard in Gdańsk and are scheduled for delivery in 2025 and 2026. At the same time, Unity Line has now set the course for a continued future in the port of Trelleborg and concluded a five-year contract with the Port of Trelleborg for the use of the port facilities. This applies from January 1, 2024 to December 31, 2028.

4 Launching of new Scandlines ferry

[7] On 25.11.2023, Scandlines’ new zero-emission cargo ferry was launched in the traditional manner at the Turkish shipyard Cemre.

At 10 o’clock in the morning, the iron piles holding the ship on the slipway were removed so that the new ferry could glide into the sea via a chute. There, several tugs picked up the newbuilding and brought it to the fitting-out quay, where most of the remaining work will be carried out.

Before the final takeover, the new ferry will be moved to the dry dock for a final coat of paint.

The name of the all-electric ferry has now also been announced with the launch: The newbuild will be named FUTURA as part of the naming ceremony at the time of commissioning on the Fehmarnbelt between Puttgarden and Rødby.

Carsten Nørled, CEO of Scandlines, emphasizes in a press release that with the FUTURA, Scandlines is enabling a journey without direct emissions, as the ferry is powered exclusively by electricity. At the same time, great importance was attached to an even better customer experience on board. Carsten Nørled also emphasizes that Scandlines will continue to operate for many years to come. Even when the fixed link across the Fehmarnbelt is opened. He sees advantages for truck drivers in particular, who can take their legally prescribed rest period during the ferry crossing, as well as for families going on vacation and Scandinavians coming to Germany for bulk shopping.

With the 147.5 meter long and 25.4 meter wide ferry, Scandlines is now taking the next step towards emission-free ferry shipping.

[8] In future, Scandlines will also convert the other four hybrid ferries on the Fehmarnbelt to purely electric propulsion, thus enabling a completely emission-free crossing of the Fehmarnbelt.

[9] To this end, the two ships sailing under the German flag, SCHLESWIG-HOLSTEIN and DEUTSCHLAND, will initially be equipped with a 10 MWh battery at the end of 2024 [10], [9] which will be charged with at least 80 percent of the energy required for a crossing in just 12 minutes via the newly built shore power connections in Puttgarden and Rødby. Solar systems are also being installed on board the ferries for this purpose. Scandlines is investing a total of EUR 31 million in the electrification of the Fehmarnbelt ferries. The Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport Affairs is supporting the project financially as part of a funding program for the sustainable modernization of coastal vessels, NaMKü for short, with up to 40 percent of the conversion costs.
Scandlines is expected to sign the corresponding contract for the conversion at the beginning of 2024. Subject to the final delivery time of the components required for the conversion, the ferries will be converted from the end of 2024 to 2025.

5 battery-electric HINNØYs launched

[11] The Turkish Cemre Shipyard has launched the HINNØY, a battery-powered double-ended ferry, for the Norwegian shipping company Torghatten Nord AS. The 117m long HINNØY, designed by The Norwegian Ship Design Company, will be able to carry 399 passengers and 120 vehicles on the route between Bognes and Lødingen in northern Norway.

The 9.2 MWh batteries enable a crossing time of one hour at a speed of 13 to 14 knots. It is also planned that the new ferry will be powered by electricity from the Norwegian national grid. Charging takes place via automatic high-performance charging connections at both terminals. If necessary, the HINNØY can also fall back on biodiesel generators.

The ferry is to have two completely independent drive and power supply systems, which are arranged in such a way that the other remains operational in the event of a malfunction in one system.

6 Smyril Line takes over SEAGARD

[12] On December 12, 2023, the Faroese Smyril Line took over the ro-ro ship SEAGARD from Bore. The ship, now renamed GLYVURSNES, will in future serve the route between Tórshavn on the Farör Islands, Þórlakshöfn in Iceland and Hirtshals in Denmark.

The GLYVURSNES was originally built for Bror Husell Chartering at the Sietas shipyard and has been chartered out to Transfennica since her commissioning in 1999.

7 Irish Ferries announces new freight route

[13] Irish Ferries will offer a new freight service between Northern Ireland and Scotland from the beginning of 2024. The new service will expand Irish Ferries’ route network and improve connections between Ireland, the UK and Europe. The new freight service also complements the existing services from Dublin and Rosslare.

8 Stena Line opens new freight route

[14] In February 2024, Stena Line will open a new freight route between Dublin in Ireland and Birkenhead near Liverpool in the northwest of England. Initially, the new route will be served by a ship departing from Dublin in the morning and returning from Birkenhead in the evening. Stena Line already operates one route from Dublin and one from Liverpool, so the new service will complement the existing Dublin-Holyhead and Belfast-Liverpool routes. Which ship will be used on the route will be announced shortly.

This is Stena Line’s response to the end of the P&O Ferries Liverpool-Dublin service. P&O Ferries will have to discontinue this service at the end of this year due to a lack of berth capacity in the port of Liverpool.

9 MARGARITA SALAS launched

[15] The MARGARITA SALAS, the latest fast ferry destined for Baleària, has been launched at the Armon shipyard in Gijón. The 123-meter-long and 28-meter-wide ferry is a close sister ship of the ELEANOR ROOSEVELT, which was delivered in 2021. In addition to her sister ship, the MARGARITA SALAS has a second passenger deck and 10% more propulsion power. The fast ferry is powered by four dual-fuel engines, which currently run on LNG but are already prepared for the use of CO2-neutral fuels.

MARGARITA SALAS is named after the Spanish scientist of the same name, who was one of the pioneers in the field of molecular biology. The MARGARITA SALAS offers space for 1200 passengers and 400 vehicles.

With the construction of MARGARITA SALAS, Baleària is investing 126 million euros in a green future for the company.

10 NEREA delivered to Siremar

[16] The Sicilian ferry operator Siremar, which belongs to the Italian Caronte & Tourist Group, has taken over the 110-meter-long dual-fuel newbuild NEREA from the Turkish Sefine shipyard. The ferry, which cost 40 million euros, will operate between Milazzo and the Aeolian Islands.

The ferry’s vehicle deck offers 490 loading meters of space for vehicles that can access the deck via a 10 m x 10 m stern ramp.

The NEREA can carry 800 passengers as an EU Class B ship and 400 passengers as an EU Class A ship.

[17] EU Class A means: Designed for extended voyages in which weather conditions with a wind force of over 8 on the Beaufort scale and significant wave heights of over 4 m can occur (e.g. in the high seas) and which these ships can largely survive under their own power.

The EU Class B states that the vessel is designed for voyages in which weather conditions with a wind force of up to and including 8 m and wave heights of up to and including 4 m may occur.

[16] The ship is a diesel-electric LNG hybrid ferry that reaches a service speed of 16.5 knots. A 1,000 kWh battery pack and 250 m2 of solar cells have also been installed.

11 Launching of the PIETRO MONDELLO

[18] And Siremar’s parent company, Caronte & Tourist, is also getting a new building. The 134-meter-long PIETRO MONDELLO was launched at the Turkish Sefine shipyard. The ferry, which is almost identical to the ELIO delivered in 2018, will primarily feature technical improvements compared to its sister ship. The new building will also be equipped with a battery pack with a capacity of 2 MWh. The PIETRO MONDELLO has space for 1500 passengers and 290 cars and, like her sister ship, is to be used in the Strait of Messina between Messina and Villa San Giovanni.

[19] Over the next two years, Caronte & Tourist plans to build three more new ferries for connections to the Sicilian islands and for use in the Strait of Messina.

12 Former BENIAMINO CARNEVALE ran aground off Sicily

[20] The Vamare-class ro-ro ship LIDER PRESTIJ, formerly known as BENIAMINO CARNEVALE, ran aground off Sicily on 26/11/2023.

The ship was being towed by the tug TEDY on its way from Naples to Tuzla when a tow rope broke in high seas in the Mediterranean. As a result, the ship began to drift and ran aground about 10 miles off Milazzo on the north coast of Sicily.

The ship was auctioned by the Compagnia Italiana di Navigazione and purchased by Turkish buyers for 3.25 million euros.

The Italian Coast Guard supervised the salvage operations that were successfully carried out with the help of four tugs from Rimorchiatori Augusta, a subsidiary of Rimorchiatori Mediterranei, which is controlled by MSC.

The ship was transferred to the port of Messina for inspection.

[21] The LIDER PRESTIJ was built in 1992 and has 1820 meters of cargo space. The maximum speed is 19.1 knots.

13 Major investment and restructuring within the Attica Group

[22] Following the merger with ANEK Lines, the Attica Group launched an extensive fleet modernization program costing just over EUR 1 billion and focusing on the development of “green ferries” – both existing ships and newbuilds. At the same time, Attica is also considering a new construction program for smaller ferries for use in the Aegean.

Attica’s comprehensive fleet modernization program was developed in collaboration with Lloyd’s Register and comprises three phases:

The first phase is already underway and includes immediate measures for further environmentally friendly optimization of the fleet. This includes the optimization of drive systems and digital systems as well as the installation of photovoltaic and other energy-saving systems with a total budget of EUR 160 million.

The second phase comprises the installation of new dual-fuel engines on selected ferries with an investment volume of EUR 400 million. Phase 2 will be implemented in 2026/27.

The third and final phase involves the construction of new Ropax ferries that comply with international regulations for a significant reduction in pollutant emissions. A budget of EUR 500 million is planned for this phase. The phase should be completed by 2029.

[23] Following the recent integration of ANEK Lines into the Attica Group, a new “green era” is now beginning for the latter, characterized by both new investments and organic growth. As a first step, the ferry giant is restructuring its fleet.

Specifically, the Group plans to deploy four large ships on the Piraeus-Crete route, all of which will be painted in the ANEK Lines livery. The ships used for the Piraeus-Chania route are the ELYROS, built in 1998, and the 31-year-old EL. VENICELESS. The LEFKA ORI, launched in 1987, and the KISSAMOS, completed in 1992, will be deployed on the Piraeus-Heraklion line. Both were formerly Blue Star Ferries ships named BLUE HORIZON and BLUE GALAXY and are already painted white. There are considerations that EL. VENIZELOS with another ship with a larger vehicle capacity. This would be in line with the Group’s strategy of expanding the truck service on the routes to Crete.

In the Adriatic service, on the other hand, it was decided that two additional ships would be operated by Superfast and given the typical red livery.

The first “new” Superfast ship is the ARIADNE, built in Japan in 1996. This is to be included in the Adriatic service from December 15. It already carried out this last year in the main season in the colors of Hellenic Seaways.

The second ship that could undergo a color change is the ASTERION II, built in 1991, which is currently operating for Superfast on the Patras-Venice route in white and with the small inscription “operated by SUPERFAST”.

14 Baleària plans new Caribbean route

[24] Baleària plans to open a new ferry service between San Pedro de Macorís in the Dominican Republic and Mayagüez in Puerto Rico in summer 2024. The shipping company will offer a daily connection on the 133-mile route between the two ports. Baleària is also planning to build a terminal in the port of San Pedro de Macorís and to adapt the terminal in Mayagüez.

The company will make the seven-hour crossing between the two Antilles islands on an environmentally friendly vessel that could become the first natural gas-powered ferry in the Caribbean.

Baleària has been operating in the Caribbean since 2011, where it currently connects the North American port of Fort Lauderdale with the Bahamian islands of Grand Bahama and Bimini. The new service will be Baleària’s third route in the Caribbean and its sixth international connection.

15 winners of the FährNews Community Award

At this point, we are delighted to be able to honor TT-Line as the most popular ferry company of 2023. In six rounds and against more than 60 shipping companies, TT-Line prevailed this year. You have voted TT-Line the most popular shipping company in 2023! Thank you once again for your active participation!

But that’s it for the December issue of FährNews Aktuell in 2023. We wish you a wonderful Christmas and a happy new year! Ferry Christmas!

Did you like the issue? Then leave with pleasure a Like there. If you have any other comments or requests, feel free to write us a comment. We look forward to your feedback!
If you haven’t had enough of FerryNews, we can recommend the latest issue of FerryNews News. These included the new Unity Line buildings, new information on Hansa Destinations and the new buildings for La Méridionale. Have fun and see you soon!

Sources

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  • [11] “Cemre Shipyard launched battery operated HINNØY for Torghatten Nord”, Shippax. Accessed December 15, 2023. [Online]. Available at: https://www.shippax.com/en/news/cemre-shipyard-launched-battery-operated-hinnoy-for-torghatten-nord.aspx
  • [12] “SEAGARD handed over to new owner Smyril Line”, Shippax. Accessed December 14, 2023. [Online]. Available at: https://www.shippax.com/en/news/seagard-handed-over-to-new-owner-smyril-line.aspx
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  • [21] “Classe Viamare”, Wikipedia. December 8, 2023. Accessed December 14, 2023. [Online]. Available at: https://it.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Classe_Viamare&oldid=136797187
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  • [23] sandra, “Fleet restructuring from Attica after the merger with Anek Lines”, Ferry Shipping News. Accessed December 13, 2023. [Online]. Available at: https://ferryshippingnews.com/fleet-restructuring-from-attica-after-the-merger-with-anek-lines/
  • [24] “Baleària plans to open a service between the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico in 2024”, Shippax. Accessed December 14, 2023. [Online]. Available at: https://www.shippax.com/en/news/baleria-plans-to-open-a-service-between-the-dominican-republic-and-puerto-rico-in-2024.aspx

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