Flight Of The Eagle
On 15th March Red Funnel’s 4,075gt/1996 built flagship Red Eagle returned to service between Southampton and East Cowes with a brand new look following an extensive £3 million interior refit. The refit mirrors the work carried out to Red Falcon (2014) and Red Osprey (2015) and was entrusted to Solent marine specialists Trimline, SMS and Wight Shipyard. The work involved the renewal of the passenger accommodation on B deck, the fabrication and fitting of two new stylish public lounges on A deck and new outside viewing space on AA deck. Later in 2018 the Red Jet 7 will join the fleet with a new freight ferry being delivered in 2019.
Finnlines announced on 20th March that it had decided to exercise the options to lengthen two more Ro-Ro vessels. The company’s €70 million Energy Efficiency and Emission Reduction Investment Programme was launched with the lengthening of four vessels in 2017, with an option of an additional two. The first two vessels, the Finntide and Finnwave, have already been operating in their extended forms. By the end of May 2018, a further two vessels, the Finnsky and Finnsun, will be lengthened, whilst the Finnbreeze and Finnsea will now be lengthened in September-December 2018. Each enlarged vessel will have a capacity increase of some 30%. After the modification the vessel is 217.7 metres long and has a capacity of around 4,200 lanemetres. In co-operation with DFDS, Finnlines has extended its Spain-Sweden service to Scotland, with the addition of roundtrip sailings between Bilbao and Rosyth.
The Arctic Umiaq Line ferry Sarfaq Ittuk was beset by ice off the southwest coast of Greenland on 23rd March with 37 passengers and 22 crewmembers aboard. The 73m long ferry finally freed herself from an ice flow on 27th March and continued to Arsuk, arriving the next day. She then continued to Paamiut and Nuuk. Due to the location and the wind direction, it was not possible for other ships to sail to the Sarfaq Ittuk’s assistance. The risk of such an attempt would likely result in two ships stuck in the ice rather than just one. Although inconvenienced and without internet or phone service, passengers on board were never in any danger and seemed to take the weather delay in their stride. Throughout the ordeal, Arctic Umiaq Line kept in contact with the crew and communicated the status of the vessel directly with passenger’s families back home. The company also provided regular updates to Facebook, showing pictures of passengers and crew playing games, reading and watching movies. The 238 passenger/22 crew capacity and 2,118gt Sarfaq Ittuk was built in 1992 and underwent a renovation and extension in the winter of 1999-2000.
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