Rederi Ab Eckerö, based in the Åland Islands province of Finland, is a company with a diverse portfolio: two ferry lines, a cruise line, a roro cargo tonnage provider and even a bus company. Ferry Shipping News’, Finland-based freelance correspondent, Kalle Id, had a question and answer session with Björn Blomqvist, the managing director Rederi Ab Eckerö, in the cargo offices of the company’s Finland-Estonia subsidiary Eckerö Line in Helsinki last week.
According to local media (Giornale di Sicilia) the UK-based investment fund Taconic Capital will make an offer to buy Liberty Lines, the ferry company owned by the Morace family and still under the administration of an external commissioner following the court case renamed “Mare monstrum” which happened in 2017.
The company founded in 1993 by Vittorio Morace operates short sea links from Sicily to the Aeolian islands, to the Egadi islands and Pelagie islands, has a fleet of 32 hydrofoils and also controls a shipyard building hi-speed crafts in Trapani.
Also, the other big player active on the ferry routes in Sicily, the Messina-based Caronte&Tourist, recently welcomed as a new minority shareholder (with a 30% stake) the investment fund Basalt Infrastructure Partners.
Förde Reederei Seetouristik will introduce a faster and higher capacity vessel to the Melilla – Motril route.
The ro-pax ferry GOLDEN BRIDGE will start operations on the line next May.
This former Japanese ferry can make the Melilla – Motril crossing in 5 hours, meaning a reduction by 2 hours on the current crossing time.
She has a capacity for 1,500 pax and 500 cars.
Until last year this ferry was used between Korea and China, until she was acquired by A-Ship Management.
She is currently being refurbished in Perama.
Incat 041 JAUME III is set to be refitted in the port of Genoa, by San Giorgio del Porto Shipyard.
The yard is part of Genova Industrie Navali group, in which Fincantieri is expected to take a minority stake in the near future.
Ettore Morace, managing director of Balearia, confirmed to Ferry Shipping News that, “the JAUME III is to undergo significant works in the engine room. The vessel will be completely repowered, and the four main Ruston engines will be replaced by MTU.”
Price tag: €8 million.
Two years ago, Balearia also repowered JAUME II, to improve its energy efficiency, reliability and service as part of the company’s fleet modernization process
The news reported last week in this newsletter has been officially confirmed by the Milan-based company controlled by Vincenzo Onorato and sons.
“Compagnia Italiana di Navigazione S.p.A., fully owned by Moby S.p.A., sold the vessel HARTMUT PUSCHMANN to a foreign purchaser, in compliance with the provisions of the Indenture and of the Intercreditor Agreement. The Net Available Cash (approx. €12.9m) from such disposal is applied to the extent to make capital expenditures, or invest in, or commit to invest in Additional Assets within 365 days from the receipt of such Net Available Cash” a statement reports.
As for the second deal closed, Moby also communicated that “Compagnia Italiana di Navigazione S.p.A. sold a minor vessel AURELIA to an Italian purchaser. In relation to the Net Available Cash (approx €6m) from the sale of the Aurelia Vessel, the same provisions as above are applied”. The ferry AURELIA was purchased by MSC’s Italy-based holding company Marinvest.
Grimaldi’s CRUISE ROMA lengthening project was successfully completed in the port of Palermo by Fincantieri.
Some pictures posted by the Naples-based group shows the 2007-built vessel in dry dock with her new final layout following the stretching works through which the hull had been extended by 29m.
The new ship section included 600 additional freight lane meters, together with 80 sleeping accommodations in new passenger cabins and two new public spaces.
“Zero emission in port” is now written on both the sides of the ferry. She has been fitted with a scrubber system, as well as a system to power the ship during the turnaround time in ports based on mega-lithium batteries.
BC Ferries will be building up to five new ferries to replace four existing vessels and
invites customers and communities to join conversations about the new vessels and to provide input
that will help shape their future onboard experience.
The new ships are being specified to deliver enhanced environmental sustainability and offer flexibility to meet
changing travel demands into the future.
BC Ferries expects the new ferries to enter service in the mid2020s.
The HUFTARØY and SAMNØY, built by Tersan Shipyards in Turkey on behalf of Norwegian operator Torghatten Nord, are the first two ferries delivered by Redwise, burning LNG only.
Being able to provide two full LNG trained and certified crews at the same time, with proven experience on LNG fueled and double ended ferries, was the main decision driver.
Both Redwise crews had undergone extensive training at EU institutes for the previous LNG fueled delivery voyages. With the regulations and standards for low flashpoint fuels developing and being implemented further, it was decided to run an additional dedicated course at the STC training center in Rotterdam for basic and advanced training. This was necessary to comply with current Dutch and Norwegian legislation, partially doubling up previous training.
With vessels departing shortly after each other and with limited LNG only bunker capacity, Redwise entered into a frame agreement with REPSOL for these simultaneous voyages. REPSOL proved itself as extremely helpful and flexible setting up bunker facilities in both Cartagena and El Ferrol, on very short notices with the vessels bunkering LNG back-to-back.
The two voyages went smoothly, with the vessels averaging 16 knots following on each other’s heels. The delivery voyages were done in the best possible circumstances due to a large high-pressure system nestling above Europe.
UK shipbuilder Wight Shipyard Co has completed its third and largest vessel for MBNA Thames Clippers, the first Hunt Class Mk3. The 38m VENUS CLIPPEr has been built to a ten-month build schedule and is reflective of the increased business the yard has previously predicted in the fast ferry sector.
MBNA Thames Clippers had some very particular requirements for its latest newbuild.
Importantly, the new Clipper had to be able to transport of passengers between numerous floating piers at a speed not less than 25 knots at full load draft. The vessel’s catamaran hullform uses twin symmetric hulls and has been designed by Australia’s One2three Naval Architects. Its hull structure is designed for frequent and repeated berthing at London’s floating piers with particular attention paid to potential contact with obstructions in the water and harsh weather conditions.
VENUS CLIPPER is classed by Class Lloyds Register / DNVGL and obtains the notation DNVGL +1A1 HSLC Passenger R4 HSC (A) EO meeting the delegated survey requirements for capacity and seating for a minimum of 220 passengers, with space for two wheelchairs.