CalMac’s much-delayed newbuild Ro-Pax vessel, the Glen Sannox, was announced by CMAL on 21st November as being due for delivery in June 2019. Sister vessel, known only as Yard No. H802 at present, is not expected until March 2020. The Glen Sannox was laid down on 17th February 2017, launched 21st November 2017 but progress has been painfully slow since for a number of reasons. Various arguments and claims rumble on surrounding this newbuild contract, the delays and escalating costs.
Destination Gotland’s latest newbuild, the 32,000gt Visborg, was named on 8th December The ship was launched at the Guangzhou International Shipyard on 18th November 2016 and was originally expected in service during 2017.
DFDS’s third giant, 6,700 lanemetre capacity (450-trailers) Ro-Ro had her keel laying ceremony at the Jinling Shipyard on 22nd November. The 11,530gt/2000 built Finlandia Seaways returned to service in November following her fire whilst operating the now closed Rosyth-Zeebrugge service. The ship acted as cover on the Cuxhaven-Immingham route.
Irish Ferries’ 50,400gt newbuild W.B. Yeats appeared to be nearing delivery to the company by FSG in early December after final adjustments had been made. The plan appears to be to still deploy her to the Holyhead-Dublin route for the remainder of the winter after crew training and trials before she moves to the Dublin-Cherbourg service. The next newbuild from FSG, Hull. 777, is expected in 2020 to replace the Ulysses, which will in turn replace the Epsilon on Holyhead-Dublin.
Moby Line’s previously announced reverse merger into Compagnia Italiana di Navigazione (CIN) was to become effective before the end of 2018. The ensuing 5-year business plan indicates the sale of five unidentified Ro-Pax ships, including the withdrawal of two older ships in 2019, a further two modern vessels in 2019 and two more such ferries respectively in 2020 and 2021. Around €30 million will be also invested to install scrubbers on five ships before the end of 2019. Modern and high capacity Ro-Pax tonnage is to be acquired in the form of two 4,076-lanemetre capacity Ro-Ro newbuilds from FSG in late 2018/early 2019 plus two Ro-Pax newbuilds from the Guangzhou Shipyard International in China during 2021/22. The FSG newbuilds are the 32,887gt/2018 built Alf Pollak and 32,770gt/2019 built Maria Grazia Onorato and are destined to serve the Genoa-Livorno-Catania-Malta route.
Seajets’ 5,007gt/1997 built Champion Jet 1 (formerly Condor Ferries’ Condor Vitesse) has been chartered by Naviera Armas for four months following the damage sustained by the 6,346gt/1999 built Alboran in early November. The vessel departed Piraeus on 9th December.
Wightlink Isle of Wight Ferries has been sales listed for some time now. As this news feature went to press it was reported that Mayfair Equity Partners is one of a small number of Bidders along with Arcus Infrastructure Partners.