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FerryNews News – July/August 2023 Edition

Hello and welcome to the special edition of FährNews Aktuell for the months of July and August in 2023. This month again saw a great many exciting developments in the ferry sector. Today’s topics include the takeover of FINNSIRIUS and the rescue of ANEK Lines. We also have a big surprise in store for you.

So stay tuned until the end to make sure you don’t miss anything!


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And here again is the entire July/August issue of FährNews Aktuell for your perusal:

1 FINNSIRIUS taken over

[1] Finnlines took delivery of the FINNSIRIUS, the first of two new combined cargo and passenger vessels, on July 18, 2023. The vessel will operate on Finnlines’ Finland-Sweden Naantali-Långnäs-Kapellskär line. Traffic is scheduled to start in September 2023. The second ship, FINNCANOPUS, is expected to be delivered in late 2023 and will serve the same route as her sister. The two vessels will be the largest RoPax vessels in the Finnlines fleet. Cargo capacity will increase by nearly 24 percent to 5,200 lane meters, while passenger capacity will double from 554 today to 1,100.

“These hybrid ro-pax vessels are not only the largest vessels in the company’s fleet to date, but they also transport cargo in a more sustainable manner. For example, the ships were equipped with huge high-capacity batteries and a shore power supply so as not to produce emissions during port operations. In addition, auto-mooring will make port operations more efficient,” says Tom Pippingsköld, President and CEO of Finnlines.

Auto-mooring is a system that allows mooring and unmooring of a vessel without classic lines, saving time and dangerous work.

[2] In the future, Finnlines plans to launch a ferry line between Poland and Sweden, more precisely between Świnoujście and Malmö. With the commissioning of the FINNSIRIUS, the EUROPALINK will switch back to the Travemünde-Malmö route, so that one of the ships currently operating there, the FINNFELLOW, FINNPARTNER or FINNTRADER, will switch to the new route. When the FINNCANOPUS enters service at the end of the year, the FINNSWAN will also switch to the Travemünde-Malmö route, so that a second ship can then be deployed on the new route between Poland and Sweden.

2 Bridgemans Services Group acquires ISABELLE

[3] In April 2023, Tallink Grupp signed a contract with the Canadian company Bridgemans Floatel LP/Bridgemans Services Group LP for a multi-year charter agreement for the ship ISABELLE with a purchase option. In the future, the ISABELLE will serve as a residential and work home for large workforces.

Bridgemans is now embarking on a comprehensive retrofit of the environmental systems and renovation of the ISABELLE’s living, dining, recreation and gathering areas.

When the Estonia retrofit is completed in late 2023, the ferry will offer 650 newly renovated single cabins with private bathrooms, a high-end dining room, lounges, meeting rooms, high-speed Wi-Fi, offices, a first-aid clinic, a modern fitness center, a billiards and game room, and special accommodations for crew members.

3 New EU grants for Trelleborg

[4] The expansion project for the port of Trelleborg in southern Sweden continues. The “Rail-IT-MoS” project has now been approved for funding from the EU’s “Connecting Europe Facility”, or CEF for short. As a result, the Port of Trelleborg, together with its partner port Rostock, will receive a total grant of approximately SEK 141 million. This corresponds to 12 million euros. The share for the Port of Trelleborg is approximately SEK 94 million or 8 million euros.

The Port of Trelleborg acts as coordinator of the project due to its experience with this type of EU projects.

Funds were approved for the port of Rostock for the modernization and reconstruction of the existing rail infrastructure. The Port of Trelleborg will receive funding to complete the eastern portion of the port, including asphalting, filling, paving, channelization, installation of power, IT and telecommunications equipment, and lighting poles.

The EU project “Rail-IT-MoS” will be the fifth ongoing EU project in the port of Trelleborg.

[5] Trelleborg serves as the starting point for various ferry routes to the continent and is an important component for the European transport network.

[6] In 2022, a total of 13.2 million metric tons of cargo was moved, making the port the second most sought-after cargo port in Sweden.


[7] A fire occurred in the engine room of the TT-Line ferry HUCKLEBERRY-FINN at 4:30 in the morning on August 16, 2023. The crew was able to extinguish the fire with onboard firefighting equipment, and no one was injured. The ferry was about 19 nm or 35 km from Travemünde at the time the fire broke out and was on its way to Trelleborg in southern Sweden. There were 131 passengers on board. The HUCKLEBERRY-FINN was escorted back to Travemünde for safety by two rescue cruisers and the frigate RHEINLAND-PFALZ.

5 SpaceX Internet for ferries in Denmark

[8] The ferries of the Danish shipping company Molslinjen are to receive Internet via the SpaceX project Starlink. An experiment on board the fast ferry EXPRESS 3 on the Kattegat has proven that the Internet connection on board the ferry can be significantly improved by Starlink.

“It has always been a difficult proposition to transmit land-based Internet across the curvature of the earth and over water to a fast ferry moving at 70 mph. But we have used Starlink Maritime on the EXPRESS 3 in a test that went very well,” explains Molslinjen’s commercial director Jesper Skovgaard.

As a result of the test, which went well, all ferries on the Bornholm Line will be equipped with Starlink as early as during the summer vacations. Starlink is a company belonging to SpaceX and owned by US businessman Elon Musk. In Starlink, Internet can be received from space via thousands of communication satellites.

In the near future, the fast ferries in the Kattegat will also receive Internet from Starlink. The other routes belonging to Molslinjen, operated by Alslinjen, Samsølinjen and Langelandslinjen, as well as the ferry service on the Öresund between Helsingør in Denmark and Helsingborg in Sweden, do not face the same challenges, as they are much shorter and the ships sail closer to land. Therefore, these connections are not equipped with Starlink access.

6 Kronprins Frederik as amplifier on Rostock-Gedser

[9] Scandlines recorded particularly high passenger numbers to and from Scandinavia in July. On the Rostock-Gedser route alone, the number of passengers and cars increased by 13.1 and 11.4 percent, respectively, in the first half of the year compared to 2022.

For this reason, the Scandlines shipping company adjusted its ferry services this summer: During this year’s peak season, the cargo ferry KRONPRINS FREDERIK additionally operated between Rostock and Gedser in Denmark on four weekends in July and on the first weekend in August every Saturday to relieve the hybrid ferries BERLIN and COPENHAGEN on this route.
Monday to Friday, the cargo ferry continues to serve the route between Puttgarden on Fehmarn and Rødby on Lolland.

7 1000 subscribers sweepstakes

We would like to say thank you: thank you for over 1000 ferry enthusiasts who have already subscribed to us on YouTube. In order to address not only nice words to you, we have come up with something very special for you: In cooperation with Scandlines we offer you the opportunity to win a free trip on board one of the Scandlines ferries. With your own car up to 6 meters long and up to 9 persons you can enjoy a free crossing between Rostock and Gedser or between Puttgarden and Rødby. The ticket is valid as a one-way standard ticket and can be redeemed until 30.12.2023.
In addition, we are giving away ten goodie bags from Scandlines with many smaller and larger amenities that can be a real help in everyday life – we speak from experience.

What do you have to do now to be one of the lucky winners? Go to our Instagram channel @faehrnews, subscribe and like the sweepstakes post. Then post a comment below the Instagram post and mention two friends you’d like to take the ferry crossing with. You are already in the lottery pot. The competition ends on 01.09.2023 at 19:00. The winners will be notified by DM from us.

All information as well as the terms and conditions can be found as a link in the video description. We wish you good luck and say thank you again for over 1000 subscribers!

If you can’t wait to finally travel by ferry again, we have a very special offer from Scandlines for you: With the newly introduced low-price ticket, you can use the Puttgarden-Rødby connection for €40 and the Rostock-Gedser connection for €53 until September 3. These are mainly departures at off-peak times, the tickets are bound to the departure and cannot be used flexibly. If you are interested in this offer or if you are planning a crossing with Scandlines or another ferry operator regardless of the low price ticket, then feel free to use the booking options here at Faehren.net.

8 Holland Norway Lines until the end of 2024 from Emden

[10] On 03.08.2023 it was announced that Holland Norway Lines will offer its route to Kristiansand in southern Norway from Emden until the end of 2024.

Originally the ferry company operated from Eemshaven in the Netherlands, but due to berth difficulties the shipping company first moved to Cuxhaven and from the beginning of June to Emden. You will find more information about the background in the March issue of FährNews Aktuell. You can find the link in the video in the info box at the top right or in the video description.

9 STENA NORDICA between Rosslare and Fishguard

[11] Stena Line’s STENA EUROPE has ended its service on the Fishguard – Rosslare route after more than 21 years. It will be replaced by the revised STENA NORDICA. Since entering service on the Rosslare – Fishguard route, STENA EUROPE has completed 27,456 voyages, covering over 200,000 nautical miles. It has carried nearly 730,000 trucks, 1.9 million cars and almost seven million people.

The refurbished STENA NORDICA has been equipped with a range of new and improved passenger facilities to provide customers with an even better experience. These include comfortable and stylish lounge areas, a newly designed Stena Plus Lounge, a Hygge Recline Lounge, two movie lounges, a Social Café & Bar and a lounge for truck drivers. The ship has a capacity for 650 passengers and is equipped with 58 cabins. During the crossing, which takes about three hours and thirty minutes, passengers can also shop in the duty free. The STENA EUROPE will be chartered to the Strait of Gibraltar between Spain and Morocco after a dry dock stay in Falmouth, according to Stena Line. Stena already has a ship in this region, the STENA VINGA.

We have already reported on this in the last issue of FährNews Aktuell. For whom the STENA VINGA travels, you can find out by clicking on the info box at the top right of the video or via the link in the video description.

10 FRS acquires HSC ARTEMIS

[12] The German Förde Reederei Seetouristik, or FRS, has acquired the 96-meter HSC ARTEMIS. After an extensive overhaul in Valletta, Malta, FRS placed the vessel in service with its subsidiary FRS Iberia between Spain and Morocco via the Strait of Gibraltar in July. The ship, renamed PONIENTE JET for FRS, can carry 640 passengers, 180 cars and 18 trucks.

[13] It currently operates on the route between Algeciras in southern Spain and the city of Ceuta, which also belongs to Spain but is located in North Africa.

[14] “We are very excited about this acquisition. The addition of the HSC “Poniente Jet” to our fleet will provide our guests with a fast and comfortable crossing and maintain the high standard of service for which FRS is known,” said Ronny Moriana, Managing Director of FRS Iberia.

[12] The fast ferry, built in 1999, previously operated for the Maltese shipping company Ponte Ferries between Valletta and Augusta on the Italian island of Sicily. However, this service was discontinued in September 2022.

[15] The high-speed catamaran manages a top speed of up to 38kn.

11 Corsica Linea relies on sustainable biofuel

[16] Part of Corsica Linea’s fleet will run on certified sustainable biofuel from the 2023 summer season. The fuel is made from a blend of recycled cooking oils and enables an 85% reduction in pollutant emissions compared to its fossil fuel counterpart. The biofuel, 30% of which is blended with marine diesel, has been used to fuel four ships in the Corsica Linea fleet at the Grand Port Maritime de Marseille since July.

The first bunkering took place on July 18, 2023, aboard the ferry MEDITERRANEE. Until the end of the summer season in September, ships on Corsica Linea’s North African routes will now be fueled with the biofuel.

12 ECO CATANIA and ECO MALTA to Venice – Bari – Patras

[17] Grimaldi is deploying ships of the new GG5G class for the first time on the route between Venice, Bari and Patras with the ECO CATANIA and the ECO MALTA. The Neapolitan shipping group, in collaboration with the Italian port authorities of the northern and southern Adriatic and the Greek port of Patras, wants to improve intermodality between the two Adriatic coasts. The two GG5G class vessels will replace the “Eurocargo” class vessels operating on the line.

The ECO CATANIA and ECO MALTA can carry about 7,800 linear meters of cargo, which is equivalent to about 500 trailers and 180 cars – twice as much as their predecessors.

However, Grimaldi claims that this increased capacity does not increase fuel consumption, as numerous highly innovative technological solutions have been implemented to optimize the vessels’ operational and environmental performance. At the same speed, the ECO CATANIA and ECO MALTA consume the same amount of fuel as the previous generation of RoRo vessels. That means they can effectively cut CO2 emissions in half per unit transported, the company says.

During their time in port, the ECO CATANIA and ECO MALTA use energy stored in mega lithium batteries. The batteries are recharged during the trip with the help of wave generators and solar panels installed on board. Thus, emissions are reduced to zero during the port call.

13 Seajets buys two more high-speed ferries

[18] The first new addition to the Seajets fleet is Panellenic Lines’ HSC SANTA IRINI, purchased from Acciona in April 2022 and chartered to Cretan Transportation Services (CTRS) for daily trips on the Heraklion – Santorini route. The unexpected news came on June 13, 2023, and it seems that the newly established ferry company Cretan Transportation Service could not withstand the fierce competition in the area in question and ceased operations.

[19] The second vessel purchased is INCAT 045. The high-speed catamaran, built in 1997, was sold by Condor Ferries to Trasmapi only two years ago, but the ferry was never put into service.

[18] Seajets is thus becoming more and more of a “giant” in high-speed ferry shipping. Seajets is now one of the largest ferry operators in Greece, covering more than 250 port connections from Piraeus, Rafina and Crete to the Cyclades. The HSC SANTA IRINI and INCAT 045 bring Seajets’ fleet to 17 high-speed vessels. Seajets also operates four conventional ferries on Greece’s domestic routes.

What do you think: Where will the journey of Seajets still go? Will there eventually be an end to the massive buyout of ferries? Feel free to write us your opinion in the comments!

14 HSC SUPERRUNNER JET 2 put into service

And one more piece of news on Seajets:

[20] On July 13, 2023, Seajets’ newest acquisition, the HSC SUPERRUNNER JET 2, made its debut on the Piraeus – Paros – Naxos route. The vessel was acquired by Destination Gotland in February and was overhauled at the Koros shipyard in Salamis before entering service. It can accommodate 700 passengers and 140 cars.

15 ANEMOS put into service

[21] Aegean Sea Lines’ new ANEMOS officially entered service on August 5, 2023.

[22] However, their actual introduction was already scheduled for July 21, but due to problems, the planned entry into service was delayed.
During this period, the ANEMOS was replaced by the ANEK Lines ferry PREVELIS on the Piraeus-Serifos-Sifnos-Milos and Piraeus-Sifnos-Ios-Santorini routes.

16 Attica Group may acquire ANEK Lines

[23] On August 3, 2023, Attica Group announced that the plenum of the Competition Commission unanimously approved the inclusion of ANEK Lines by Attica Group.

[24] In July, Seajets had surprisingly also submitted a purchase offer for ANEK Lines, which was improved several times after the creditors rejected it, but ultimately remained unsuccessful.

[25] The ANEK brand will join the Attica Group portfolio, which already includes Blue Star Ferries, Hellenic Seaways, Superfast Ferries and Africa Morocco Link.

As reported by kathimerini.gr, Attica Group already has clear plans on how they will proceed after the merger is completed. Attica Group will strengthen the ANEK brand by repainting two ships of its own fleet into the ANEK corporate design. Attica aims to achieve the greatest possible synergies from the merger. Therefore, the shipping group will operate its routes from Crete exclusively with a fleet bearing the colors of ANEK.

At the same time, Attica Group’s investment plans include a program to modernize and upgrade ANEK’s fleet to meet new stringent carbon dioxide emissions regulations. Currently, not a single vessel in the ANEK fleet is equipped with a scrubber-filter system.

According to the same report, there is relief among ANEK passengers and suppliers in Chania and Crete in general after the Competition Commission approved the rescue of the ferry company through the takeover by Attica.

The same applies to most of ANEK’s 600 employees and seafarers, as well as to the forwarders who use the ships to transport their goods. It is noted that ANEK works with more than 1,300 agencies in 18 countries and in 2022 carried a total of 809,000 passengers, 186,000 cars and 115,000 trucks.

The very fact that ANEK is to take over all connections to Crete in the future, and also that two more ships with ANEK livery are to be added to their eight owned or chartered ships, testifies to the intention not only to keep the historic Cretan shipping alive, but also to further strengthen it.

According to media reports, the general meeting of shareholders at ANEK Lines will be held on September 7, so that a closing of the acquisition of ANEK Lines by Attica Group can be expected in November.

That’s it for the special issue of FährNews Aktuell. Did you like the special edition? Then leave with pleasure a Like there. If you have any 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 commissioning of the P&O PIONEER and the acquisition of La Méridionale by CMA CGM. Have fun and see you soon!

17 sources

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  • [24] sandra, “SeaJets submitted an improved proposal for the acquisition of ANEK Lines,” Ferry Shipping News. https://ferryshippingnews.com/seajets-submitted-an-improved-proposal-for-the-acquisition-of-anek-lines/ (accessed August 10, 2023).
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You can find this and other episodes of FährNews Aktuell to
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