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Displaying items by tag: Ferry news

#DutyFreeReturns? - The UK's decision to leave the EU may see a return of tax-free shopping on Irish Sea crossings between Holyhead, Wales and Ireland reports Daily Post.

Irish day-trippers were a regular sight on the streets of Holyhead during the 1980s and 90s, with the town’s shops and pubs benefiting while visitors took advantage of duty-free sales onboard while sailing.

The practice came to an end in 1999 when the EU scrapped the sale of tax-free alcohol, tobacco and perfume while travelling between member states.

But British voters’ decision to exit the union could pave the way for a return of duty-free shopping according to experts.

For more on the return of duty free? click here

Published in Ferry

#NiceNewService - Former Fastnet Line’s Cork-Swansea ferry which was due to enter Mediterranean service later this month, has since our previous report begun sailings on a new France-Corsica service, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The 1,850 passenger/325 car/30 truck Julia which had served two seasons on the Ireland-Wales route closed following insufficient funds to resume sailings in 2012 and after a failed examinership. A previous operator on the Celtic Sea link was Swansea-Cork Ferries which closed after failing to find suitable replacement tonnage for Superferry that was required back by Greek charterers. 

Moby Zazà, the renamed ferry for her new French role between Nice and Bastia, Corsica, had in recent years served as a Dutch owned floating accommodation vessel. As the Wind Perfection she was stationed at anchor during a wind-farm installation project in the Irish Sea.

She was then re-sold to Moby Lines the Italian operator that has deployed the 153m long ferry on the new service. Moby also operate an extensive network to and from the Italian mainland to Sardinia, Elba and Sicily. Consequently, the new service is the operators only service connecting just French ports.

The high-season debut of Moby Zazà (1982/22,161gt) sees her operate sailings in tandem with Moby Corse (1978/14,399gt). The former North Sea veteran last month launched the new service for Moby Lines. 

Overnight sailings are 9.5 hours while daytime passages are 7.5 hours. The service links the resorts of the French Riviera on the Cote d’Azur with those located on one of the largest islands in the western Mediterranean. 

Moby Lines entry on the Nice route marketplace following the collapse of French operator, SNCM which went bankrupt, however after rebranding exercise emerged Corsica Linea this year. SNCM used to serve out of Nice and the successor leaves only existing established operator, Corsica-Sardinia Ferries to compete with Moby Lines. 

Among their Corsica-Italy-Elba routes are more veterans from the Irish Sea, Moby Vincent, the one-time St. Brendan which in 1987 operated in a joint operation between B+I Line and Sealink on the Rosslare-Fishguard route.The 1974 built Scandinavian ferry having made her Irish debut as the chartered Stena Normandica.

The Moby Love in its last career served the Isle of Man Steam Packet to the UK mainland as King Orry but not routes to Ireland. As the St. Eloi she served a stint while on relief duties for Sealink British Ferries on the Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead route. 

 

Published in Ferry

#Cruise&FerryCode - It was at the European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) recently held in Dublin, that the Code of Good Practices for Cruise and Ferry Ports was launched.

The code which is available (here to download) has been developed by ESPO together with Cruise Europe (see conference report) Cruise Baltic, Cruise Norway, MedCruise and Cruise Britain. The organisations have since September 2014 been part of the Cruise and Ferry Port Network.

The aim of the code is to formulate a series of good practices (also as a download) to face the challenges that European cruise and ferry ports are dealing with nowadays.

The five main challenges identified are the port-city relationship, infrastructure, cooperation, relation with the cruise and ferry lines and security. Besides sharing these practices among port authorities, the code can also be seen as an instrument to enhance the dialogue with all stakeholders involved in the cruise and ferry sector. Moreover, this code must inform policy makers and the wider public about the characteristics, challenges and bottom-up initiatives taken by European port authorities.

The code comes with a dynamic online inventory of concrete examples of the good practices outlined in the code. This inventory will be updated continuously and will turn the code into a living document.

Stavros Hatzakos, Chairman of the Cruise and Ferry Network said.“It is an honour to present this first outcome of the Cruise and Ferry Port Network. The cruise and ferry business is an important activity in European ports. Next to the 3.8 billion tonnes of goods that are passing through European ports each year, there are more than 400 million people passing through these same ports. The making of this code has shown the network to be a unique node of knowledge and of exchange of good practices at the service of every port in Europe that wants to improve its performance in the cruise and ferry business and for every port, who is a newcomer in the business.”

Isabelle Ryckbost, ESPO Secretary General added “Even if many ports in Europe are handling both freight and passengers, we see that passenger handling ports demand a specific approach in many areas: be it in infrastructure, where it is important to develop the right “look and feel” for your port; or in the relations with the city where the seasonality of passenger traffic obliges the port to work closely with the city to reduce externalities; or as regards security, where the port wants to ensure a high level of security while being customer friendly. The code also shows how a continuous dialogue with the lines and with the wide range of stakeholders involved in the business can enhance performance and improve the image of the sector”.

Published in Cruise Liners

#BrexitImpact - Ferry operator, Stena Line has said it will have to assess how Brexit could impact the UK. The Swedish company, which sails between Holyhead and Dublin, employs hundreds of workers in North Wales.

A Stena Line spokesman said: "As Brexit is a completely new situation Stena Line will have to evaluate its potential impacts from a number of different perspectives.

"Stena Line is currently working with the UK Chamber of Shipping to consider the implications for all of Stena’s UK interests.

"The UK Chamber of Shipping is an important neutral platform for us to work with the wider shipping community, including its social partners and stakeholders, to better understand the practical implications of a UK exit from the EU.

To read more click WalesOnline here.

Published in Ferry

#FerrytoMed – Former Cork-Swansea ferry Julia of the Fastnet Line that closed in 2011, is to enter service in July on a Mediterranean service between France and Corsica, writes Jehan Ashmore.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the Julia (1982/22,161gt) which operated the Ireland-Wales link for only two seasons was re-sold to Italian operator Moby Lines, and is to enter a new Nice-Bastia (Corsica) service. This follows an interim career for Dutch owners as the Wind Perfection that provided floating accommodation in the Irish Sea for workers during construction of a wind-farm.

Under her new owners as Moby Zazà, the 1,850 passenger/325 car/30 truck ferry underwent a drydocking in Liverno to include the company’s customary ‘cartoon’ livery depicting Warner Bros. Looney Tunes characters. She will enter the Nice-Bastia service next month, though the new route was only launched at the beginning of this month.

Commenting to Afloat, a spokesperson for Moby Lines said that in the meantime the route is currently served by Moby Corse (1978/14,399gt). In recent days due to the football matches of Euro 2016 held at the Allianz Arena Nice, Moby Lines have informed customers to expect increased traffic and congestion in the city.

The launch of the Nice-Bastia service which is to be operated year round is in direct competition with established operator, Corsica-Sardinia Ferries. Likewise of the new entrant they have a ferry network that includes routes to and from the France and also the Italian mainland.  

Sailings times connecting the Cote D’Azur and the north-eastern Corsican port are scheduled for 7 hours 30 minutes during the day while overnight crossings will take 9 hours. Moby Zasa was launched as Olau Britannia to serve a first career sailing between Sheerness, UK and Vlissengen, Netherlands along with Olau Hollandia. 

In regards to Moby Corse (as alluded above) this ferry also originally began a career sailing in the North Sea as the Dana Anglia. She served DFDS Seaways service linking England and Denmark and notably the ferry was used as the setting for a 1980’s soap opera TV series ‘Triangle’.

In much more recent times she sailed for Brittany Ferries as Pont-l'Abbé on the Plymouth-Roscoff run. Like numerous northern based European ferries, the final years of these veteran ships are mostly to be seen plying the Mediterranean.

Published in Ferry

#TrailBerthing - The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company has announced its fast craft Manannan will conduct a berthing trial at Holyhead in north Wales.

The trial according to BBC News, will not affect passenger services and is to be carried out overnight on Wednesday.

Its aim is to assess Holyhead's suitability as a back-up to the ferry firm's ports in Liverpool and Heysham.

The company's other vessel, Ben-my-Chree last month had a successful trial at the Anglesey port.

Steam Packet Company Chief Executive Mark Woodward said it was necessary to test other options for Isle of Man sea services.

He added: "This assessment will ensure that we have a full range of contingencies in place to maintain the vital sea links for our passengers and freight customers."

The journey between the Isle of Man and Holyhead would take the Manannan around two hours and the port also has a train station.

Published in Ferry

#UserAgreement - Manx infrastructure minister says the Isle of Man Steam Packet's user agreement is no longer fit for purpose - and will not be extended without major change.

Manx Radio reports that Phil Gawne faced a three-part question in the House of Keys (island's lower parliament) yesterday (14 June) about the company's recent offer to the Manx government, to extend the agreement beyond 2026.

Onchan MHK Peter Karran wanted details on the packet's proposal to invest £170 million in new vessels - if it continues running ferry services to and from the Island.

He also asked what effect that sum would have on the Packet's debt, and on charges for freight and passengers.

Mr Gawne denied a new user agreement had been struck - saying the Packet's finances would need to be 'more transparent' in any new deal.

But he insisted the current system, despite its faults, had been of benefit.

For more about the user agreement listen to Manx Radio by clicking here to link on the webpage

Published in Ferry

#CO2reduced - Strategic efforts to reduce its environmental footprint at Stena Line is well on course according to a recent company report. Last year the ferry operator cut emissions of sulphur by 53%.

Stena AB’s Sustainability Report for 2015, which was recently published, shows reduced fuel consumption and lower emissions for the shipping companies within the shipping group.  Stena Line has exceeded its targets for reduction of emissions of both sulphur and CO2.

One of the largest changes to affect the shipping industry was introduced in 2015 with tough new regulations on sulphur emissions being laid down for ferry operators in Northern Europe. This regulation means that the permitted emission levels of sulphur from vessels has been reduced from a maximum 1 per cent to 0.1 per cent within the SECA area from January 1st 2015.

For Stena’s shipping companies, with 93 vessels operating all over the world, the new rules have resulted in a reduction of over 4,000 tonnes of sulphur from 2014 to 2015, which represents an impressive 15 per cent reduction. For Stena Line’s 34 vessels operating in Europe, 24 of which operate within the SECA area, the total emission of sulphur has been reduced by 53 per cent.

Carl-Johan Hagman, CEO at Stena Line, said: “Focusing on sustainability is not only a priority for Stena Line, but for the entire industry which needs long term sustainable fuel options to maintain its competiveness. We are currently conducting several initiatives looking at alternative fuels within Stena. Our Methanol Project on Stena Germanica is one example. We are also looking at battery powered vessels, which is now starting to become an interesting option for shipping.

“Since 2015 Stena’s shipping companies have been delivering a dedicated program called the Energy Saving Programme (ESP), to reduce fuel consumption. The target is a reduction of 2.5 per cent annually and the result for 2015 was a reduction of 2.8 per cent. For Stena Line the efforts led to a reduction of fuel consumption of 4 per cent per nautical mile and a reduction of CO2 emissions of 2.5 per cent per nautical mile,” concluded Carl-Johan.

Erik Lewenhaupt, Head of Sustainability, Stena Line, said: “We have a broad scope and are currently driving several different initiatives in a bid to reduce our fuel consumption within ESP. It covers everything from changing bulbs and propellers to enabling our ferries to sail with reduced water resistance. Other initiatives include using digital solutions such as our Fuel Management System, where we collect a huge amount of data from the systems onboard our 34 ferries which is them analysed and used to optimise our day to day operations. We have set an ambitious target of trying to reduce CO2 emissions by 35% per nautical mile by 2030.”

Published in Ferry

#BREXITholyhead? - The United Kingdom's referendum on membership of the European Union is rapidly approaching, writes BBC News, but what does it mean for those places that find themselves at the centre of the debate - whether they want to be or not?

George Herd has been in the port town of Holyhead on Anglesey - and across the Irish Sea to the Republic of Ireland's capital, Dublin.

It is pub quiz question time: What links a truckers' rest and odds of 4/11 that the UK will vote to stay in the EU come the vote on June 23? That was the price on offer at the weekend from a well-known High Street bookies chain you can find in Holyhead on Anglesey.

The link? The founder and owner of the bookmakers also happens to be the co-owner of the Road King truck stop and cafe on the edge of the town. There, staff have just thrown a party to celebrate the venue's first birthday, and the £7m gamble to build it in the first place.

It was a gamble based on the simple premise: location, location, location. For much more on the BREXIT debate, click here. 

Published in Ferry

#FerrytoUSnavy - Irish Continental Group (ICG) which acquired a fastferry for $13.25 million last month has taken delivery this week of the HSC (high-speed craft) Westpac Express from BALI Westpac 2006, LLC, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The HSC has been onward delivered by ICG to Sealift LLC who has in turn chartered the fastferry to the U.S Navy's Military Sealift Command (MSC), a government organisation that controls the replenishment and military transport ships of the navy.

The charter is subject to usual US government procurement regulations and is fixed for a firm 4 month period to 30 September, with charterer's options to extend the charter period to a maximum of 59 months in total. 

The vessel was built in 2001 by Austal Ships, Australia. It has a gross tonnage of 8,403 tonne, passenger capacity of 900 and a car carrying capacity of 182 units. Afloat adds that Irish Sea operator, the Isle of Man Steam Packet's fastferry Manannan built by a rival of Austal, InCAT based in Hobart, Tasmania, had also served a career with the US Navy's MSC. 

Westpac Express is not the only ICG vessel on charter as the former Irish Sea ropax Isle of Innisfree currently the Kaitaki is bareboat chartered ( i.e. without crew) to a third party in New Zealand.

The custom-built 22,365 tonnes cruiseferry 'Innisfree' which became ICG's first newbuild since acquiring the ailing state-owned B&I Line, began operating for Irish Ferries until replaced by larger tonnage.

For almost the last decade Kaitaki has operated Interislander's Wellington-Picton route having entered service in August 2006. The 1,650 passenger/ 600 car/ 108 truck cruiseferry serves the Cook Strait service linking the north and south islands.

Published in Ferry
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