Ro-pax FINNEAGLE from Finnlines to Grimaldi Group

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Finnlines Plc has sold the ro-pax vessel FINNEAGLE to the Grimaldi Group following a strategy “to optimise the use of Finnlines’ vessels and routes in order to improve its profitability.”
The 1999-built FINNEAGLE was chartered out to the Grimaldi Group from June 2017. The delivery of the 2,459 lane meter vessel to the Grimaldi Group will take place this month. She is currently in drydock in Gdansk.

Photo: FINNTIDE (for lengthening) and FINNEAGLE in Gdansk © Jakub Bogucki

CMA CGM launches Morocco Express 1/2/3

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As already announced in Ferry Shipping News (week 37), CMA CGM will launch a new ro-ro service to connect Morocco more quickly to Europe: Morocco Express 1/2/3.

 

  • Loop 1: weekly service on a fixed day, available throughout the year. It connects Casablanca and Tangier to Marseille with 3 departures per week from Morocco on a ship with a capacity of 180 trailers.
  • Loop 2: weekly service on a fixed day, available throughout the year. It connects Tangier to Marseille and Genoa with 2 departures each week from Southern Europe on a ship with a capacity of 180 trailers.
  • Loop 3: weekly service on a fixed day, available from November to April. It connects the port of Tangier to Port-Vendres with 1 departure per week from Tangier on a ship with a capacity of 65 trailers.

The service will start on October 21.

Will a first agreement with the unions allow La Naval to build the Baleària ferry?

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The bankrupt Spanish shipyard La Naval has reached a principle of an agreement with the unions. One of the points is to let go the unfinished dual-fuel multipurpose vessel LIVING STONE, built for the Belgian-Dutch DEME Group. This company recently tried to tow the ship out of the shipyard, to avoid it to be blocked by the bankruptcy. The action, described by local newspapers as an act of piracy, was unsuccessful. The owners defended themselves, saying that they have already paid a lot for the vessel, and claim its property.
Now La Naval and DEME have agreed to move the vessel to a place in the port of Bilbao, where subcontracting companies can finish it.
Although the unions have repeatedly shown their opposition to the ship leaving the shipyard, they had to admit that a full confrontation would mean the final curtain for the yard. DEME has agreed to pay the remaining invoices, which will help the yard to pay the salaries until the end of the year.
This agreement still needs to be signed by the unions.

The next step will be to solve the problem of the ferry commissioned by Baleària. The ferry company could exercise its right to cancel the newbuilding contract.
To be followed.

Source: El Correo
Photo © Baleària

Tallink Grupp breaks record with 1.2 million pax in one month

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When looking at the Q3 report, one can see that Tallink had an excellent summer.
In July, August and September, Tallink Grupp transported a total of 2,912,759 passengers (+2%), 353,309 cars (-7,1%) and 91,335 cargo units (+12.5%).
In July only, Tallink ferried 1.2 million passengers, a record.
The Latvia-Sweden route in particular has been developing positively since the addition of the second ferry ROMANTIKA to the route in December 2016.
The Estonia-Finland routes have seen a slight 5% decrease in passenger figures, mainly because only one cruise-ferry (MEGASTAR) operated on Tallinn-Helsinki, instead of two last year. This route is also the main responsible for the drop in car traffic.
The Estonia-Finland route continues to be the biggest contributor to the cargo transport growth, with nearly 6,000 more units.

Photo MEGASTAR © Tallink

Minoan Lines H1 results affected by higher bunker prices

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During H1, Minoan Lines S.A. continues to improve its financial performance. Its turnover at the consolidated level was shaped at € 36.1 million (€ 72.4), while operating profits (EBITDA) stood at € 9.6 million (€ 20.8). Moreover, Net profits after taxes shaped at € 1.6 million (€ 12.2).
The financial results of the period have been aggravated by the significant increase of fuel prices and contributed to the increase of operating expenses.
Minoan retains its leading position on the domestic Heraklion-Piraeus line:
Passengers 272,000 / Cars 33,000 / Freight units 29,000.
Market shares: 66.3% (passengers), 62.9% (cars), and 46.3% (freight).

Photo © Mike Louagie

Increased traffic volumes in all revenue categories for Attica Group

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On Friday September 29, Attica Group (Blue Star Ferries, Superfast Ferries) published its half-year results.

  • • During H1, Attica Group saw an increase in traffic volumes in all categories: Passengers +5.4% / Cars +9.9% / Freight +2.3% / Sailings +4.3%
  • Adriatic routes (Patras-Igoumenitsa-Ancona and Patras-Igoumenitsa-Bari (in joint service with ANEK): Passengers +16.8% / Cars +14.2% / Freight +3.5% / Sailings + 2.1%
  • Greek domestic routes (Piraeus-Cyclades, Piraeus-Dodekanese, Piraeus-  Crete (with ANEK), and Piraeus-Chios-Mytilene): Passengers +4.3% / Cars +9.2% / Freight +1.7% / Sailings +4.8%
  • Consolidated Revenue: EUR 112.04m (EUR 109.63m)
  • EBITDA: EUR 7.07m (EUR 21.66m)
  •  Consolidated losses after tax: EUR 22.26m (EUR 2.20m)
  •  Increase of bunker prices influenced Group’s results by over EUR 15m.

Other highlights:

  • On August 11, Attica acquired 50.30% of the share capital of Hellenic Seaways Maritime S.A.
  • On August 30, BLUE STAR PATMOS suffered grounding on shallow waters while approaching Ios. The impact is estimated to be limited due to the upcoming low season. The incident is fully covered by the existing insurance, and the vessel is actually being repaired at Elefsina shipyard.

Photo © Mike Louagie

High-speed broadband on board Wasaline ferry WASA EXPRESS

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Wasaline is the first shipping company in the Baltic Sea to provide its passengers with fast and reliable Internet access from Vaasa to Umeå, via advanced microwave technology from AecorLink. For the first time, passengers can now surf the web, use social media and streaming services the same way they do at home.
All conference guests will have free Wi-Fi during the entire journey; all other passengers will have free Wi-Fi for 30 minutes, to try out the service.
After 30 minutes a popup window tells the user to pay an amount of €3 per device for the rest of the 4,5-hour journey.
Instead of 4G, the technology is based on a microwave connection from shore to ship. It makes it possible to deliver very high data capacity, meeting the guest’s needs for streaming services, like Skype, YouTube, Netflix etc.
For Wasaline this is a game changer since the satellite connection only provided 0,5 mbps to the entire ship, now they have access to from 150 – 200 mbps during the entire crossing.

Photo © Incat / Virtu Ferries

SAINT JOHN PAUL II selected as name for the new Virtu Ferries catamaran

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Incat is building a 110m wave piercing catamaran for Virtu Ferries of Malta, with delivery planned for end 2018. This new unit will become the 15th fast ferry Virtu has acquired and it will be the largest high-speed catamaran in the Mediterranean. A crossing from Malta to Sicily will take 90 minutes, berth to berth.
This week it has been announced that the ferry will be named after Saint John Paul II. Pope John Paul II sailed with Virtu Ferries when visiting the island in 1990.
For Virtu Ferries this new vessel provides a significant increase in capacity offering 43% more truck capacity, 15% more pax capacity and 7% more car capacity.

Photo © Incat / Virtu Ferries

The arrival of more bunker tankers solves the issue of the chicken or the egg

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Last week Shell officially presented its new LNG bunker tanker CARDISSA in the Port of Rotterdam. She was built at STX in Korea, and one other is under construction. Shell has three more ships in option.
Earlier, in September, Shell announced an agreement with the cruise ship group Carnival Corporation &PLC to be the supplier for the new LNG cruise ships under construction.
In June, bunkering vessel ENGIE ZEEBRUGGE performed in the nearby port of Zeebrugge its first deliveries of LNG to UECC’s ro-ro’s AUTO ECO and AUTO ENERGY. The LNG bunkering operations were conducted at the same time that the cargo operations were taking place.
CORALIUS is another LNG bunker vessel, built in Europe by Royal Bodewes, The Netherlands. She was developed by the shipowners Anthony Veder and Sirius Shipping in Sweden in close co-operation with Skangas.

Photo CARDISSA © Shell