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FährNews Aktuell – Issue February 2024

Hello and welcome to the February issue of FährNews Aktuell in 2024. Today’s hot topics include:

  • Tallink deploys second ferry – Where there will be more departures in summer
  • JAN SNIADECKI changes owner – Where the old rail ferry is going
  • And OSLOFJORD sold – The former North Sea veteran on its way to southern climes

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 February issue of FährNews Aktuell for you to read again:

1 Tallink sells ISABELLE

In the July and August double issue of FährNews Aktuell last year, we already reported on the use of the ferry ISABELLE operated by Tallink as a residential vessel as part of a charter contract with a company belonging to Bridgemans Services Group Ltd.

[1] Tallink Grupp has now reached an agreement on the permanent sale of the ISABELLE from the Tallink Grupp fleet to a company within Bridgemans Services Group Ltd. Since July 1, 2023, the ISABELLE had been chartered by Bridgemans Floatel Division, which has now exercised a purchase option.
Following a complete refit to prepare the ship for its new role, Woodfibre LNG will now be the first customer to use the ISABELLE’s services as a residential vessel to accommodate workers for the construction of an LNG station at Howe Sound Bay in British Columbia, Canada, from spring this year.

2 Tallink increases connections to Sweden in midsummer

[2] Let’s stay with Tallink for a moment: The ship VICTORIA I will temporarily switch to the route between the Estonian capital Tallinn and Sweden’s capital Stockholm between May 31 and August 31, 2024. The VICTORIA I will operate the route together with the BALTIC QUEEN, thus increasing the number of departures between the two Nordic capitals for the three main travel months of June, July and August. This is Tallink’s response to increased customer demand for more frequent departures on the route, as Paavo Nõgene, CEO of Tallink Grupp, explains.

The VICTORIA I currently offers short one-night cruises between Estonia and Finland on the Tallinn-Helsinki route. It will also resume this service at the end of summer 2024.

[3] Tallink is also offering eight cruises from Tallinn and Helsinki to Visby on the Swedish island of Gotland this year. The ship departs from Tallinn or Helsinki in the afternoon, arrives in Visby the next morning at 9.30 am local time and leaves Visby that evening at 6.30 pm local time, giving cruise passengers a whole day to discover the sights of Visby and Gotland.

3 FINNCANOPUS put into service

On February 16, 2024, the FINNCANOPUS officially started service on the route between Kapellskär, Långnäs on the Åland Islands north of Stockholm, and Naantali near Turku in Finland. She serves the route together with her sister FINNSIRIUS, which entered service in September. Both ships can carry 1,100 passengers each, which is about twice as many as the previous RoPax ships on this route. Freight capacity has also increased from just over 4,000 loading meters to 5,200 loading meters.
With the commissioning of the FINNCANOPUS, Finnlines’ EUR 500 million newbuilding program, which included three ro-ro ships in addition to the two sister ships, is now complete.

4 Sale of JAN SNIADECKI

After two well-known rail ferries, the KOPERNIK and the SASSNITZ, have left the Baltic Sea in recent years, [5] one of the few remaining rail ferries, the JAN SNIADECKI, is now also ending her service in Scandinavia. Like the KOPERNIK, which was sold in 2019, the JAN SNIADECKI last sailed for Unity Line in regular service on the route between Świnoujście in Poland and Ystad in southern Sweden. According to reports, the buyer of the ship is the Greek company Ainaftis. The JAN SNIADECKI was built in Sweden in 1988 for Polish Ocean Lines and was in service on the Świnoujście – Ystad route throughout her time. It currently offers space for 57 passengers and has 1,116 loading meters. The ship completed its last crossing on December 30 last year and has been docked in Świnoujście ever since. The ship has now been renamed THALASSITIS and reflagged to Cyprus.

[6] On February 7, the ferry then set sail from Świnoujście on a transfer voyage to Gibraltar, [7] from where it continued on to Piraeus.

5 Fjord Line strengthens its connections

[8] Between February 1 and May 7, 2024 and between September 2 and December 30, 2024, Fjord Line is expanding its service with a new evening and night sailing between Hirtshals, Kristiansand, Stavanger and Bergen. The two cruise ferries STAVANGERFJORD and BERGENSFJORD will operate the additional evening departure between Hirtshals and Kristiansand. From Kristiansand, the ships sail on the new inland night route to Stavanger and from there on to Bergen.

Fjord Line currently sails in a northerly direction directly from Hirtshals to Stavanger and Bergen. This is changing with the new departures. The ships now sail north via Kristiansand. Heading south, the Bergen-Stavanger-Hirtshals route remains unchanged.

Between May 7 and September 2, Fjord Line will continue to operate 3-4 daily departures between Hirtshals and Kristiansand with the HSC FJORD FSTR, the MS STAVANGERFJORD and the MS BERGENSFJORD.

6 Smyril Line announces construction of two new RoRo vessels

[9] Smyril Line has signed a contract with the CIMC Raffles shipyard in China for the construction of two new cargo ships. These are two identical RoRo ships with a length of 190 meters and 3,300 loading meters for trailers. The new cargo ships are scheduled to enter service in 2026 and are designed for optimal year-round seaworthiness in the North Atlantic, with a focus on the comfort and well-being of the crew on board. The ships will be designed in close cooperation with naval architect Knud E. Hansen, who, together with Smyril Line’s extensive experience in the North Atlantic, will ensure that the ships are built for the special route between Europe, the Faroe Islands and Iceland. The ships will be modern and environmentally friendly and meet all international emission standards. Compared to the company’s existing fleet, they will emit significantly fewer emissions per tonne transported. At the same time, the ships will be equipped with a battery system and the option of a shore power connection so that port operations can be carried out without emissions. The ships are also being prepared to run on e-methanol, which Smyril Line sees as the best future choice for green fuel. Jens Meinhard Rasmussen, CEO of Smyril Line, explains that it will be possible to transport much larger volumes of freight with less energy consumption than today. The energy savings will amount to at least 60 %. This is an important step on the way to zero emissions by 2050. He goes on to say that since 1982 they have not only been operating one of the longest RoRo and RoPax routes in the world, but probably also the one with the most difficult conditions. They therefore know from experience that sailing this route places high demands on the ship and crew and have therefore designed the ships accordingly, he adds.

7 Grimaldi charters CIUDAD DE MAHON to Baleària

[10] The RoPax ferry CIUDAD DE MAHON, built in 2008, is chartered out by Grimaldi Trasmed to its competitor Baleària. This is a 5-year bareboat charter contract. A bareboat charter contract only provides for the rental of the vessel without crew.

The ship has space for 1,000 passengers and 1,500 loading meters for freight and cars.

[11] Until recently, the 154.35 m long and 25 m wide CIUDAD DE MAHON [10] sailed on routes from the Spanish mainland to the Balearic Islands, in particular to Ibiza. It is not yet known on which line it will be used under Baleària.

8 Changes at Moby Lines

[12] The 50-year-old ferry MOBY VINCENT was sold to Aliaga in Turkey for scrapping. Built in 1974, the ferry was in service on the route between Livorno and Bastia until the fall of 2023. It will be replaced by the MOBY ZAZA in the coming summer season.

[13] However, it is currently still under a short-term charter with the Croatian state shipping company Jadrolinija.

[12] The sale of the ageing MOBY VINCENT is part of the restructuring and cost reduction plan adopted by the Group.

[13] This plan also led to the chartering of the MOBY DADA to the shipping company Algérie Ferries. This information has not yet been confirmed by Moby, but the ship has now been painted in the colors of Algérie Ferries. It is also assumed that this contract will end in September.

[12] The brand new cruise ferry MOBY LEGACY arrived in Livorno on January 28, 2024. The newbuilding covered 14,000 nautical miles in 32 days. Since February 17, the MOBY LEGACY has been serving the Livorno – Olbia route alongside her sister MOBY FANTASY.

[13] The freight connection Livorno – Cagliari was closed with the commissioning of the MOBY LEGACY, as Moby is now concentrating its services on the route between Livorno and Olbia.

9 Caronte & Tourist buys LAS PALMAS DE GRAN CANARIA

[14] The 117m long ferry LAS PALMAS DE GRAN CANARIA of the Spanish shipping company Trasmediterránea was purchased by Caronte & Tourist. This will be used on the smaller routes to Sicily and will replace an older ship in the fleet. Lorenzo Matacena CEO of Caronte & Tourist confirms the purchase to Shipping Italy and reveals that the purchase price is likely to be between 10 and 15 million euros.

As we reported in the December issue of FährNews Aktuell, Caronte & Tourist took over the NEREA from the Sefine shipyard three months ago. It was planned that a sister ship would be ordered, but the current high shipyard prices have currently put this plan on hold.

10 Grandi Navi Veloci’s current plans for this year

[15] The Genoa-based ferry company Grandi Navi Veloci, which belongs to MSC, announced at the Bit tourism fair in Milan that a third ferry will be operating on the route between Genoa in northern Italy and Palermo on the island of Sicily this summer. GNV recorded an increase of 5% in passengers carried in 2023 compared to the previous year.

Another important development for Grandi Navi Veloci this year is the planned delivery in December of the new GNV POLARIS, the first of four new ships for GNV, which we already discussed in the last issue of FährNews Aktuell.

[16] The new building will have a length of 218 meters, 3,100 loading meters and a capacity of 1,500 passengers. Two of the four new ships are to be powered by LNG.

11 Jadrolinija buys former OSLOFJORD

[17] The Croatian shipping company Jadrolinija has purchased the OSLOFJORD, built in 1993 at the Swedish shipyard Bruce Shipyard, from the Norwegian Fjord Line. The ship is expected to arrive in Croatia at the end of February and will probably first spend some time at the Croatian Viktor Lenac shipyard after her arrival.

The ferry was last renovated in Finland in 2014, when most of the cabins were removed, as the crossings between Sandefjord and Strömstad always took place during the day. Instead, the OSLOFJORD was equipped with tax-free stores as its main source of income. In future, the OSLOFJORD will serve the route between Dubrovnik and Bari, 6 ½ hours away. The tax-free sale of goods between the two EU countries Croatia and Italy is not permitted.

[18] The former OSLOFJORD is 134.4 m long, 24 m wide and offers space for cargo in 720 loading meters. The 882 passengers currently have 207 cabins at their disposal. The maximum speed is 19 knots.

12 BAJA STAR reaches Greece

[19] The BAJA STAR, the new acquisition of the Greek ferry operator Ventouris Ferries, arrived in its new home country on February 4, 2024. The ship last sailed for the Mexican shipping company Baja Ferries and left Mexico on December 26, 2023. It was built in 1992.

[20] The BAJA STAR is now being prepared in Perama for her new role as the fourth ship in the Ventouris Ferries fleet alongside the RIGEL II, III and VII. Ventouris Ferries operates routes between Greece and Italy and between Albania and Italy.

[19] The BAJA STAR offers space for 705 passengers in 660 beds as well as for cargo and cars on 1,400 loading meters.

13 Seajets continues to expand

[21] It was announced back in January that Seajets will charter the HSC SANTORINI PALACE from Minoan Lines. The ship last served the route Heraklion – Santorini – Naxos – Mykonos – Syros – Piraeus during the summer months.

[22] Seajets has announced that it will now operate the HSC SANTORINI PALACE from June 1 to September 30 on the Piraeus – Syros – Mykonos – Evdilos (on the island of Ikaria) – Karlovasi (on the island of Samos) route. This route is scheduled to depart daily from Piraeus at nine o’clock. The return journey starts at 6 p.m. from Evdilos on Ikaria to Piraeus. The interest in a connection between the islands of Ikaria and Samos became clear last year with the deployment of the HSC MEGAJET on this route.

[21] The HSC SANTORINI PALACE was built in Australia in 2005 and was refurbished in Trieste in 2015 to increase its passenger and vehicle capacity to 1,160 passengers and 117 cars.

[23] In addition, on January 18, it was reported in the Greek news that Seajets had purchased the large Incat catamaran ferry NATCHAN RERA. In contrast to smaller fast ferries, the 112 m long ferry can also sail in higher waves. Despite its more recent construction year of 2007, the 35-knot fast catamaran ferry was used very little or not at all over a longer period of time. This gives Seajets a ship with low mileage. It offers space for 355 cars and 790 passengers [24] and was added to the Seajets fleet as the EUROCHAMPION JET.

[25] The 88 m long and 24 m wide sister ships OSMAN GAZI 1 and ORHAN GAZI1 were purchased from Turkey. Like the SANTORINI PALACE, both ships were built in Australia in 2007. The ships offer space for 1,200 passengers and 225 cars, the maximum speed of both ships is 37.5 knots.

With the acquisition of these vessels, Seajets is living up to its reputation as the world’s largest operator of high-speed ferries with a fleet of 22.

But that’s it for the February issue of FährNews Aktuell in 2024. 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. Among other things, it dealt with the return of the VIKING CINDERELLA to the Helsinki-Stockholm route, a new E-Flexer order and the purchase of the RUSADIR by Baleària. Have fun and see you soon!

Sources

  • [1] sandra, “Tallink cruiseferry sold”, Ferry Shipping News. Accessed February 23, 2024. [Online]. Available at: https://ferryshippingnews.com/tallink-cruiseferry-sold/
  • [2] “Press Releases – Tallink Silja Line”. Accessed February 23, 2024. [Online]. Available at: https://www.tallink.com/press-releases?5&article=193951694#tabs-content-5
  • [3] “Press Releases – Tallink Silja Line”. Accessed February 23, 2024. [Online]. Verfügbar unter: https://www.tallink.com/press-releases?5&article=194603188&adobe_mc=MCORGID%3DAE8B5AD7591AC1560A495D25%2540AdobeOrg%7CTS%3D1708683757#tabs-content-5
  • [4] “Finnlines invests heavily in passenger traffic – Finncanopus celebrates in Stockholm before the maiden voyage departs from Kapellskär”, Finnlines. Accessed February 29, 2024. [Online]. Available at: https://www.finnlines.com/news-and-press-releases/finnlines-invests-heavily-in-passenger-traffic-finncanopus-celebrates-in-stockholm-before-the-maiden-voyage-departs-from-kapellskar/
  • [5] sandra, “Unity Lines’ train/car ferry JAN SNIADECKI sold to Greece”, Ferry Shipping News. Accessed February 23, 2024. [Online]. Available at: https://ferryshippingnews.com/unity-lines-train-car-ferry-jan-sniadecki-sold-to-greece/
  • [6] “M/S JAN SNIADECKI (1988)”. Accessed February 23, 2024. [Online]. Available at: https://www.faktaomfartyg.se/jan_sniadecki_1988.htm
  • [7] “Vessel Characteristics: THALASSITIS – Ro-Ro/Passenger Ship: 当前位置和详情 | IMO 8604711MMSI 8604711Call Sign P3TX6 | 注册在 Cyprus | AIS Marine Traffic”, MarineTraffic.com. Accessed February 23, 2024. [Online]. Available at: https://www.marinetraffic.com/en/ais/details/ships/shipid:144054/mmsi:212004000/imo:8604711/vessel:THALASSITIS
  • [8] “Fjord Line lanserer to nye rutetilbud”, Fjord Line. Accessed February 27, 2024. [Online]. Available at: https://cms-admin.fjordline.com/presse-og-media/pressemeldinger/fjord-line-lanserer-to-nye-rutetilbud/
  • [9] “News”, Smyril Line. Accessed February 27, 2024. [Online]. Available at: https://www.smyril-line.com/about/news
  • [10] sandra, “Grimaldi charters CIUDAD DE MAHON to Baleària”, Ferry Shipping News. Accessed February 21, 2024. [Online]. Available at: https://ferryshippingnews.com/grimaldi-charters-ciudad-de-mahon-to-balearia/
  • [11] “M/S VOLCAN DE TIJARAFE (2007)”. Accessed February 21, 2024. [Online]. Available at: https://www.faktaomfartyg.se/volcan_de_tijarafe_2007.htm
  • [12] sandra, “MOBY LEGACY arrives, MOBY VINCENT departs”, Ferry Shipping News. Accessed February 21, 2024. [Online]. Available at: https://ferryshippingnews.com/moby-legacy-arrives-moby-vincent-departs/
  • [13] sandra, “Moby charters out Moby Dada, Moby Zaza and closes Livorno – Cagliari”, Ferry Shipping News. Accessed February 21, 2024. [Online]. Available at: https://ferryshippingnews.com/moby-charters-out-moby-dada-moby-zaza-and-closes-livorno-cagliari/
  • [14] “Caronte & Tourist buys LAS PALMAS DE GRAN CANARIA”, Shippax. Accessed February 21, 2024. [Online]. Available at: https://www.shippax.com/en/news/caronte-tourist-buys-las-palmas-de-gran-canaria.aspx
  • [15] sandra, “In 2024, GNV will add a third ship on the Genoa-Palermo route”, Ferry Shipping News. Accessed February 23, 2024. [Online]. Available at: https://ferryshippingnews.com/in-2024-gnv-will-add-a-third-ship-on-the-genoa-palermo-route-and-take-delivery-of-gnv-polaris/
  • [16] “GSI Shipyard launched GNV POLARIS”, Shippax. Accessed February 23, 2024. [Online]. Available at: https://www.shippax.com/en/news/gsi-shipyard-launched-gnv-polaris.aspx
  • [17] sandra, “Jadrolinija (1)”, Ferry Shipping News. Accessed February 21, 2024. [Online]. Available at: https://ferryshippingnews.com/jadrolinija-1/
  • [18] “Oslofjord (ship, 1993)”, Wikipedia. February 19, 2024. Accessed February 21, 2024. [Online]. Available at: https://de.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Oslofjord_(Schiff,_1993)&oldid=242365533
  • [19] sandra, “Ventouris Ferries’ RoPax BAJA STAR arrived in Greece”, Ferry Shipping News. Accessed February 21, 2024. [Online]. Available at: https://ferryshippingnews.com/ventouris-ferries-ropax-baja-star-arrived-in-greece/
  • [20] “Ventouris Ferries’ latest acquisition arrived in Greece”, Shippax. Accessed February 21, 2024. [Online]. Available at: https://www.shippax.com/en/news/ventouris-ferries-latest-acquisition-arrived-in-greece.aspx
  • [21] sandra, “Seajets charter Minoan Lines’ HSC SANTORINI PALACE”, Ferry Shipping News. Accessed February 21, 2024. [Online]. Available at: https://ferryshippingnews.com/seajets-charter-minoan-lines-hsc-santorini-palace/
  • [22] sandra, “Seajets is interested in introducing HSC SANTORINI PALACE on the Samos-Ikaria run”, Ferry Shipping News. Accessed February 21, 2024. [Online]. Available at: https://ferryshippingnews.com/seajets-is-interested-in-introducing-hsc-santorini-palace-on-the-samos-ikaria-run/
  • [23] sandra, “Seajets purchases NATCHAN RERA”, Ferry Shipping News. Accessed February 21, 2024. [Online]. Available at: https://ferryshippingnews.com/seajets-purchases-natchan-rera/
  • [24] “Seajets adds more fast ferries to the fleet”, Shippax. Accessed February 21, 2024. [Online]. Available at: https://www.shippax.com/en/news/seajets-adds-more-fast-ferries-to-the-fleet.aspx
  • [25] sandra, “Seajets purchased two more high-speed crafts”, Ferry Shipping News. Accessed February 21, 2024. [Online]. Available at: https://ferryshippingnews.com/seajets-purchased-two-more-high-speed-crafts-from-the-turkish-ido/

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