Ferry Positive

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Baltic operator Tallink has invested over €16m into renovating the 59,912gt/1993- built cruiseferry Silja Europa (above), which is returning to the Helsinki-Tallinn route on 12th December 2016. The work on the 202m long ship includes an upgrade of the entire interior.

Service Needs Help

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A campaign was launched in October to save a vital and historic passenger ferry service which faces an uncertain future. Hampshire’s Hythe Ferry’s future was put in doubt when its Operator warned staff about possible redundancies. The service runs from Hythe, across Southampton Water, to the city’s Town Quay. An historic pier is used at Hythe that also has a narrow gauge electric railway service. Hythe Ferry Ltd. said it was holding talks with other operators but the company has failed to properly invest/maintain the operation for several years. It is said that the service has suffered a “year-on-year decline” in passenger numbers and had also been met with higher operating costs. Hampshire County Council has provided a subsidy towards the cost of operating the ferry for a number of years. Alas an unsuitable back up ferry (Uriah Heap, now scrapped after it hit the pier one evening) and an unreliable main ferry, Great Expectations (above), built for the Tilbury-Gravesend service in the 1990s, have done nothing for the fortunes of the service. An Action Group has been formed and another option being considered is a community group taking over the running of the pier, leaving Hythe Ferry Ltd. to concentrate on the ferry service.

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