Argyll Ferries’ Gourock-Dunoon service has been transferred to publicly owned Caledonian MacBrayne (CalMac) following a decision by Transport Scotland to incorporate the Argyll Ferries service into the existing Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Service contract at the end of 2018. As part of the takeover, Transport Scotland has indicated improved harbour facilities for passengers will be considered in the future, including the possible introduction of electric vehicle and electric bike hubs at both ferry terminals, as well as developing the ferry service to encourage users. The ferries Ali Cat and Argyll Flyer were to be rebranded January-March to minimise service disruption.
Bournemouth Swanage Motor Road and Ferry Company’s chain ferry Bramblebush Bay resumed service on 28th January on a reduced 30-minute schedule following prolonged repairs after a hydraulic failure shortly after returning from refit at A&P Falmouth prior to Christmas.
Caronte & Tourist and their new 30% shareholder, Basalt Infrastructure Partners, jointly announced on 15th January a new 5 year business plan which is expected to bring five new ships into the fleet The investment required is worth some €300 million with €60 million coming from the Sicily Region for a pair of small ferries. Around €240 million will be provided by Caronte & Tourist for the ordering of three new ferries and a further €20 million is to be invested in the existing fleet. The company has also ordered a sistership to the 8,778gt/2018 built Elio, a double-ended ferry constructed by the Selfine Shipyard in Turkey.
CLdN RoRo cancelled a contract with Croatian shipbuilder Uljanik for the construction of one 5,500 lanemetre Ro-Ro vessel (Hull No. 531) on 27th January. The cancellation has taken place due to Uljanik’s inability to deliver the newbuilding in line with the conditions stipulated in the agreement.
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