Astilleros Gondan of Spain announced on 10th August that it had signed a contract to build a new fast ferry over a 9-month period that is claimed to be the fastest GRP passenger catamaran built in Spain. The vessel, which will reach 34 knots when fully loaded powered by two 3,000hp engines, that will also make it the most powerful GRP ferry built in Spain.

Photo: Nigel Lawrence

Baleària of Spain has purchased the 26,375gt/2010 built Ro-Pax ferry Visemar One, (above) which has been part of the company’s fleet for seven years. Baleària has invested around €55 million into purchasing the 8,702dwt ship. This acquisition brings the number of ships owned by Baleària to 26. The Visemar One was introduced by the company on the Barcelona-Palma route in 2011 and currently operates between València and Palma. The 186.4m long/ 25.6m beam ship can accommodate 600 passengers, 2,860 lanemetres of freight and 74 cars. Baleària also launched a new Tanger Med-Malaga Ro-Pax and freight service on 4th August.

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Bornholmslinjen replaced Bornholmer-færgen on 1st September when Færgen’s contract for the Bornholm ferry service ceased. Long standing operator Molslinjen won the tender for the service with ferries sailing under the operating name of Bornholmslinjen. The new 18,009gt/2018 built Ro-Pax vessel Hammershus arrived in Køge, Denmark on 24th August and made her debut at Rønne on 31st August. Meanwhile the outgoing Bornholm operator, Færgen, has now sold the 6,402gt/2000 built highspeed vessel Villum Clausen to Greek operator SeaJets. MolsLinjen’s 10,504gt/2009 built Express 1 moved to the Bornholmslinjen service from 1st September.

Caledonian MacBrayne’s awaited newbuilds are running into problems long before they are even completed. The ships are destined for the Uig-Lochmaddy-Tarbert Triangle and Arran-Ardrossan. Ferguson Marine won the Scottish government contract (worth around £97 million) to build the vessels but has advised CalMac’s parent company, Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd, of new delays.

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