BC Ferries’ new Salish Orca (the subject of Newbuild of the Month in the last issue) commenced sea trials from 10th February in the Salish Sea. Over the following month, the Salish Orca conducted berthing trials at ports in the Southern Gulf Islands, Sunshine Coast, Departure Bay, Duke Point, Horseshoe Bay and Swartz Bay.
Brittany Ferries has extended the charter of the 12,076gt/1998 built Ro-Ro ship MN Pelican for a further 12 months. The ship operates twice weekly between Poole and Bilbao.
CalMac’s Isle of Lewis visited Dales Marine Services’ Aberdeen yard (pictured top) in January for refit prior to returning to Oban on 12th February. Also in the New Year, the Caledonian Isles and Catriona shared the Garvel dry dock on the Clyde for a 14-day refit whilst the Loch Shira also visited the Garvel for 11 days.
Compagnie Luxembourgeoise d’Navigation (CLdN) Ro-Ro SA ordered an additional two 5,400 lanemetre vessels from South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) in February, with options for a further four of the same class. Previously, the company placed orders for four ships, of which the first two 8,000 lanemetre vessels will be delivered in 2017. The ships will be placed on the Zeebrugge-Purfleet route. To complement these orders and prepare for expansion, a new 59 Hectare Port facility at Albert II Dock, Zeebrugge, will be opened in the second quarter of 2017. In March 2016 the firm initially ordered two Ro-Ro vessels from Croatian shipbuilder Uljanik, with an option for further four. CLdN operates 24 Ro- Ro vessels, offering sailings between the ports of Zeebrugge, Rotterdam, Purfleet, Killingholme, Dublin, Gothenburg, Esbjerg, Hirtshals, Santander and Porto.
Fjord1 and Havyard signed a contract for the construction of the three electrical ferries in December 2016. The first vessel is due for delivery in May 2018 and the remaining two towards the end of 2018.
Designed by Multi Maritime in Førde, the newbuildings will have a capacity for 50 cars and 199 passengers. Two of the ferries will operate on the Brekstad-Valset route and one ferry on the Sandvikvåg-Husavik route. The Norwegian Road Authorities’ strict requirement for emissions for these two ferry routes have resulted in an electrical propulsion system using chargeable Lithium Ion batteries. NEC has signed a contract with compatriot shipbuilder Havyard Ship Technology for the delivery of hybrid electric systems for the ferries and has developed a DC system which is expected to ensure safe charging and discharging of the batteries. The system also includes a solution which allows for future upgrades of the vessels, such as larger battery capacity and/or higher charging power from shore.
Grimaldi Lines has chartered the 20,381gt/1982 built Vikingland for their Savona-Porto Torres service. The route opened on 17th January and the vessel had previously served Swedish Orient Lines’ Rostock-Hanko service until closure on 31st December. The Savona link also features the 29,303gt/1998 built Eurocargo Istanbul.
Jadrolinija looks set to have its near monopoly of ferry services in Croatia challenged when the 2018 tendering process is opened later this year. The company has 34 routes and 49 ships. Domestic competitors from Italy and Greece, among others, will be able to bid for Adriatic services currently in the hands of Jadrolinija although only five of the routes are profitable, with four operated by this company. The remaining ferry services in Croatia are subsidised. The open access agreement was put in place as part of Croatia’s requirements prior to applying for EU membership. However, deadlines for the latter were missed due to political instability so the country’s ferry industry has been plunged into uncertainty for no immediate reason.
Lisbon was the scene of a passenger ferry accident on 25th January. The passenger catamaran crashed into the Doca da Marinha quay injuring 34 of the 561 passengers aboard, many of whom had got up ready to disembark. And people wonder why they are asked to remain seated until the craft is safely alongside! An enquiry followed but fog was thought to be a contributing factor.
Moby Lines has renamed the 5,225gt/1974 built Moby Lally as the Moby Baby Two. The suggested reason is that the name Lally belonged to the Company Owner’s former wife.
Niron Staal Amsterdam and Damen Shipyards launched their first joint project, the hull of a RoPax 5212 passenger ferry, on 31st January. On 1st February the RoPax hull was towed to Damen Shipyards Hardinxveld facility where it is to be outfitted ready for final onward delivery to a client in Africa.
Portsmouth International Port will this year, after more than 25 years service, replace the linkspan used to load and unload vehicles and freight from Brittany Ferries ships at the ferry port’s Berth 4.
The existing linkspan is coming to the end of its operational life and work is underway courtesy of Ravestein to design the new double deck structure that will begin construction in Holland in the coming months. Later in 2017 the new linkspan will be towed from Deest in Holland to Portsmouth. Work to install it will begin in December, with a tight schedule planned to minimise disruption to ferry and cruise services. Ravestein has previously worked on other successful projects at the Port, fabricating and installing the linkspan at Berth 3, and converting the linkspans at Berths 1 & 2 from semi-buoyant to fully-buoyant operations.
Scandline’s Rostock-Gedser service officially became the domain of the new 22,319gt sisters Berlin and Copenhagen. The ships were introduced in May and December 2016 respectively but additional refinements on the duo limited the time that both served the route in tandem. Until this time the route had been operated by two former Great Belt ferries, which were no longer able to meet the capacity requirements. For the first time in history, two new ferries especially designed for the route, are operational. The newbuilds are operated by the Scandlines’ hybrid propulsion system combining traditional diesel power with electric battery power. This enables the ferry to optimise fuel consumption by adjusting engine output, and at the same time there is a redundant power supply in case one of the diesel engines encounters a technical issue. Along with other optimising initiatives, the fuel consumption of the vessels has been reduced to almost one third per crossing per car compared to the former ferries on the route. At 18,000kW, the vessels operate at speeds of up to 22 knots (41 km/h), and the 48.9 km distance between Rostock and Gedser is covered in 1hr 45mins. With space for 460 cars or 96 lorries the capacity on the route has been more than doubled whilst the timetable now offers up to 21 daily departures.
Ventouris Ferries’ now operates the former 16,405gt/1979 built Blue Line ship Regina Della Pace as the Rigel III. This leaves Blue Line without a ship temporarily but the Rigel III will operate Bari-Durrës with the Rigel II July-September 2017.
The Company’s sunken 5,592gt/1972 built Panagia Tinou was finally the subject of a salvage operation from late January in Piraeus. The ship had been partially submerged since 26th April 2016 when she appeared to simply spring a leak at her moorings. The ship had been arrested following her operator’s financial woes. The vessel is reportedly owned by Panagia Odigitria Shipping Co.