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Stena Line announces a new ferry route on the Baltic Sea

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The demand for freight capacity in the Baltic Sea has been growing steadily over the last number of years and Stena Line is supporting this growth through investing in a new route from Poland to Sweden, Gdynia-Nynäshamn, which will commence operations from October 16th 2017 with six trips a week.

“This is another important step where we are seeing a strong demand from our customers and also where we are building for the future. We will continue to develop our business in line with customer and market demands and the new route will be an important complement to our existing Baltic Sea routes”, says Stena Line’s CEO Niclas Mårtensson.

Stena Line has been operating the route from Gdynia to Karlskrona for over 20 years.

“We have been exploring the possibility over a period of time of improving our offering for our customers with an additional freight connection. Demand for freight capacity both from Poland and Sweden is showing continued growth and the routes over the Baltic Sea are an important part of the infrastructure connecting Central Europe with Scandinavia and have immense potential for development. This will now give us one very strong transportation hub in Gdynia, one in Nynäshamn and one in Karlskrona”, says Marek Kiersnowski, Trade Director Baltic Sea South.

The new route will operate its first sailing on the 16th October and will be operated by the chartered RoRo vessel Elisabeth Russ which is a freight only ferry carrying a mix of, trucks with drivers, trailers and containers. The ship will operate 3 round trips from Gdynia and Nynäshamn with a sailing time of 18 hours.

Facts about Elisabeth Russ 
Sailing time between Gdynia-Nynäshamn: 18 hours
Length: 153 metres
Width: 21 metres
Load capacity: 1625 lane metres

“VIKING SUN” DELIVERED IN ANCONA

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Trieste, September 25, 2017 – “Viking Sun”, the fourth of eight cruise ships Viking Ocean Cruises has ordered from Fincantieri, has been delivered today at the shipyard in Ancona.

“Viking Sun”, as its sister ships, is placed in the small cruise ship segment. In fact, with a gross tonnage of about 47,800 tons, it has 465 cabins with accommodation for 930 passengers, with a total capacity of over 1,400 people, including the crew.

The ship has been designed by experienced naval architects and engineers, including an interior design team of London-based SMC Design, and Los Angeles-based Rottet Studios, who transferred on “Viking Sun” a modern design of Scandinavian inspiration, featuring sophisticated elegance but functional, at the mean time. In addition to the all-veranda staterooms, the ship also has spacious suites with sweeping views, two pools, of which one Infinity Pool off the stern, and a Spa designed according to the wellness philosophy of the Scandinavian tradition, with a sauna and a snow grotto.

The Viking Ocean Cruises units are all built according to the latest navigation regulations and equipped with the most modern safety systems, including the “Safe return to port”. Furthermore, they feature the most advanced technologies for energy saving and for meeting the strictest environmental regulations with energy-efficient engines and an exhaust gas cleaning system.

The first of the series, “Viking Star”, has been built at the shipyard in Marghera and delivered in 2015, the second and the third, “Viking Sea” and “Viking Sky”, took the sea from the shipyard in Ancona in 2016 and 2017. The last four units will be delivered respectively in 2018, 2019, 2021 and 2022.

Fincantieri has built 79 cruise ships from 1990 to today (56 from 2002), while other 32 are currently being designed or built in the Group’s yards.

FINCANTIERI TO BUILD A NEXT-GENERATION SHIP FOR CUNARD

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Trieste, September 25, 2017 – Fincantieri, leader in cruise ship design and construction, and Carnival Corporation & plc, the world’s largest cruise company, announced today the signing of a memorandum of agreement (MoA) for the construction of one next-generation cruise ship for the iconic luxury brand Cunard.

The agreement will become operational when all the financial and technical conditions will be satisfied.

The ship will be built at the Monfalcone yard and join the Cunard’s fleet in 2022. The 113,000 ton ship will carry 3,000 guests and be the 249thto fly the Cunard flag, the first since 2010 when Fincantieri delivered the “Queen Elizabeth”, three years after the “Queen Victoria” was built in 2007. Marking the first time since 1998 that the luxury cruise brand will have four ships in simultaneous service.

We are very pleased to announce a fourth ship for our immensely popular Cunard brand, which is also one of the most legendary brands in the entire vacation industry,” said Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation. “Cunard offers a fleet of unrivaled vessels and one of the most unique travel experiences in the world, which together create an enchanting and memorable vacation for our guests. While today’s news helps drive Cunard’s overall strategic growth plans, we also look forward to launching this next-generation cruise ship to help meet increasing global demand and entice even more travelers to explore the Cunard experience.” Donald added: “Fleet enhancement is an important part of our ongoing goal to exceed guest expectations. This includes replacing less efficient ships with more efficient vessels over time as part of our managed capacity growth”.

Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri, stated: “With this agreement we once more link our company’s name with Cunard’s, a real icon of the cruise market, confirming us as a shipbuilder able to combine tradition and innovation like no one else in the world. It is a lasting journey that, besides the construction of the two authentic ‘queens’ like “Queen Victoria” and “Queen Elizabeth”, stresses the importance of our partnership with Carnival. Bono concluded: “In fact, for this Group we have built 63 ships, representing today almost two-thirds of their fleet, with other 9 to come in the coming years. A cooperation which can be defined as historical, based on relationships of mutual respect and trust”.

Fincantieri has built 78 cruise ships since 1990 (55 from 2002), 63 of which for Carnival’s different brands, while other 33, including agreements, are currently being designed or built in the Group’s yards, 9 of which for the shipowners of the American group.

Saga Cruises expands fleet with second new build ship

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Saga Cruises has today confirmed plans to extend its fleet of new build ships with a second new cruise ship. Spirit of Adventure is expected to be delivered in Summer 2020, joining the Spirit of Discovery which sails in July 2019.

Both ships will be built by the renowned Meyer Werft shipyard – a recognised leader in cruise ship construction.

Spirit of Adventure will be a sister ship to Spirit of Discovery and similar in external design, carrying less than 1,000 passengers, balconies for all cabins and retaining the intimacy and personal touches Saga are renowned for.

Lance Batchelor, chief executive officer, Saga plc who announced the decision at the company’s interim results today said:

“Our first new ship, Spirit of Discovery, will be in service in June 2019 and with pre-sales being very strong, this confidence in demand has supported our decision to expand the new build fleet and purchase our second new ship, to be delivered in August 2020.”

Robin Shaw, chief executive, Saga Cruises, said: “Our loyal customers have played a key role in the design process for our first new build ship ‘Spirit of Discovery’. To date almost 7,000 passengers, who had pre-registered to sail on her have already gone on to book one of our new itineraries. This is a phenomenal conversion of over 80%.

Thanks to this strong demand, the desire of Saga members to keep doing the things they love and the forecast growth in the cruise industry, I am absolutely delighted that we are today confirming that we have now agreed to build a second new ship, ‘Spirit of Adventure’ for delivery in Summer 2020. This is an incredibly exciting time for Saga cruises and I am immensely proud of my team, both onboard and ashore, and the customers that will continue to help shape the look and feel of our future fleet.”

Bernard Meyer, managing partner of Meyer Werft said: “We are very happy and honoured to continue to work with Saga Cruises. Their decision to build now two vessels with us makes us very proud.”

The 58,250 GT vessel will be approx. 236 metres long, 31.2 metres wide with a planned completion date of Summer 2020.

Traffic start for M/V Gute on Gdynia-Karlskrona

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The strong growth within Stena Lines freight business on Baltic Sea South continues. This call for increased capacity and from Monday the 28th of August a fourth ship, M/V Gute, has been taken into operation between Gdynia and Karlskrona.

In 2016 the number of freight units on the route increased significantly and in the first eight months in 2017 the growth continues.

“Over these last few years we have experienced a very positive volume development and we believe this will continue and we are very happy to introduce a fourth ship since we are in need of extra capacity to be able to continue to grow. Our route between Poland and Sweden is strategically important to Stena Line and an integral part of the infrastructure linking the Central part of Europe with Scandinavia”, says Marek Kiersnowski, Trade Director – responsible for Stena Line’s operation between Poland and Sweden.

M/V Gute is time-chartered from Gotlandsbolaget. The vessel will be a complement to Stena Vision, Stena Spirit and Stena Baltica with the major focus on Stena Line’s freight operation. The introduction of M/V Gute will add an additional 8 trips a week and now Stena Line can offer 44 weekly trips on the route.

“We see continued strong demand for extra capacity and for our customers it is very important that we have availability and flexibility, and these developments are in line with our growth strategy. M/V Gute will be a great addition to our fleet leading to a timetable more adaptable to our freight customers ensuring the best possible service and maintaining our strong market position with the Baltic Port in Karlskrona and the new terminal in Gdynia which are important hubs for both freight and passengers,” says Marek Kiersnowski.

Facts M/V Gute 

Crossing time: 14 hours

Length: 138 m

Width: 16 m

Freight capacity: 865 lane meters

First tanker crosses northern sea route without ice breaker

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On 17 August 2017, the Sovcomflot-owned icebreaking LNG carrier Christophe de Margerie successfully completed her first commercial voyage, transporting liquefied natural gas (LNG) through the Northern Sea Route (NSR) from Norway to South Korea. During this voyage, the vessel set a new time record for an NSR transit of just 6 days 12 hours and 15 minutes. Moreover, Christophe de Margerie has also become the world’s first merchant vessel to travel the full length of the NSR without any icebreaker escort.

During her record-setting voyage, the LNG carrier covered 2,193 nautical miles (4,060 km) from Cape Zhelaniya of the Novaya Zemlya archipelago to Cape Dezhnev at Chukotka, Russia’s easternmost continental point.

The vessel again proved her ability to operate in harsh, high-latitude environments. Her average speed during the passage exceeded 14 knots, despite the fact that in some areas she had to sail through ice fields 1.2 metres thick.

The total time of the voyage from Hammerfest in Norway to the port of Boryeong in South Korea was 19 days, about 30 per cent faster than the regular southern route through the Suez Canal. This again demonstrates the economic potential of using the Northern Sea Route for large-capacity vessel transits.

Christophe de Margerie is the world’s first and currently the only icebreaking LNG carrier. This unique vessel has been built to order for SCF Group (Sovcomflot) to serve the Yamal LNG project and transport LNG year-round in the difficult ice conditions of the Kara Sea and Gulf of Ob. The vessel was delivered to Sovcomflot on 27 March 2017, following her successful ice trials in the Kara and Laptev Seas.

The LNG carrier is capable of sailing independently through ice of up to 2.1 metres thick. She has been assigned an ice class Arc7, the highest ice class amongst existing merchant vessels. Meanwhile the power of her propulsion system is 45 MW, which is comparable to the capacity of a modern nuclear-powered icebreaker. Christophe de Margerie became the world’s first vessel with a high ice-class to have three Azipod units installed, providing the vessel with a high ice-breaking capability and significant manoeuvrability.

The LNG carrier is named after Christophe de Margerie, the former CEO of Total, who  played a key role in developing the investment decisions behind, and a technological basis for, the Yamal LNG project. He also made a major contribution to the development of Russo-French economic relations in general.

Stena Imperator and Stena Imprimis in double naming ceremony in Guangzhou

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Yesterday, the Stena Imperator side by side with her sister the Stena Imprimis were named at the Chinese shipyard GSI (Guangzhou Shipbuilding International) in Guangzhou in southeast China. The two vessels are nos. 11 and 12, in a series of 13 identical IMOIIMAX tankers all ordered by Stena Bulk. The 13th and last IMOIIMAX tanker will be delivered in January next year. Both the now named vessels are owned by Stena Bulk.

It was a hot summer day when the hundred or so guests from all over the world gathered on the quayside for the solemn double naming ceremony. The two proud godmothers – for the Stena Imperator , Ylva Syrén Carlsson and for the Stena Imprimis , Denise Baum – as tradition dictates, wished the vessels, their captains and crews fortune and prosperity on the seven seas and swung the bottles of champagne against the tankers’ bows.

“It was a spectacular sight with the two sister tankers beside each other and the somewhat unusual situation as such made the naming ceremony a bit special and extra festive. We are now approaching the final delivery of our large order consisting of 13 IMOIIMAX tankers. We are very proud of and satisfied with our fleet, which now consists of ten units in operation. Both the technical and the commercial concept have proved to be very successful”, says Erik Hånell, President & CEO, Stena Bulk.

The captain on board the Stena Imperator is Mikhail Kutuzov and Alexey Vaganov will serve as captain on board the Stena Imprimis . The Stena Imperator will be delivered next week and the delivery of the Stena Imprimis is expected to take place in about two months. On her maiden voyage, the Stena Imperator will sail with a cargo of vegetable oil to Papa New Guinea and then to Rotterdam. The two tankers will be operated by Stena Bulk’s Product and Chemical Operation and will sail in its global logistics system, which currently employs some 60 vessels.

Traditionally, the shipowner, in conjunction with the naming ceremony, makes a donation to the shipyard to be used in a suitable project. In this case, USD 15,000 were donated to GSI’s shipyard workers as well as USD 15,000, half of which was donated to a nursing home and half to a Kindergarten, both related to GSI.

Facts – the IMOIIMAX concept

IMOIIMAX is a further development of an already well-established concept and the innovative technical design was developed by Stena Teknik together with the Chinese shipyard GSI. It offers several advantages such as extra large cargo flexibility, a high level of safety and economical fuel consumption – 10-20% lower than that of equivalent vessels when sailing at service speed.

The tankers have a length of 183 metres, a beam of 32 metres and a deadweight of 50,000 tons.

Fjord Line invests in new tonnage – doubles the capacity on the fastest route between Norway and Denmark

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(18.08.2017) After three years of solid growth on the route between Kristiansand (Norway) and Hirtshals (Denmark), the Norwegian shipping company Fjord Line invests in a new high speed catamaran ferry. The investment will improve the Fjord Line offerings in regard of higher capacity, increased comfort, more departures and a stretched sailing season compared to the present service.

– This is a new milestone in Fjord Line’s development. We have been successful on the route in recent years and are delighted to have ordered a new ship, says Rickard Ternblom, CEO of Fjord Line AS.

The Australian shipbuilder Austal Ships Pty Ltd has been commissioned to build the ship, which will represent a new technological standard and provide clear environmental gains on the route. The vessel will be ready to enter into revenue service from the 2020-season.

– During the development phase, comfort has been important to us. The new catamaran will be the most relaxing and comfortable mode of travel, as well as being the fastest route between Norway and Denmark. With a top speed of 40 knots, the travel time will still be 2 hours and 15 minutes, says Ternblom. – Furthermore, the investment will make Fjord Line into a new operator within the freight segment on this corridor.

New concept in the Norwegian and Danish market

The new ship will be able to carry 1,200 passengers and more than 400 cars – almost double from today’s capacity. The tax-free shop on board will be twice as large compared with today’s vessel and guests will be able to choose from three exciting food concepts on their journey.

– The ship is light and spacious with a clear Scandinavian profile on the décor. Children and families with children will also have their own section where kids can bustle around on their own accord. This will constitute a whole new ferry experience in the Norwegian and Danish markets, says Ternblom.

Fjord Line will still keep investing in today’s catamaran, HSC Fjord Cat, towards the summer season 2020, to ensure a continued competitive product on the Skagerrak corridor.

– We are continuously working on developing all our products and offerings from Bergen, Stavanger, Kristiansand, Langesund and Sandefjord. That also means upgrades on today’s ships, says Ternblom.

Strong development for the Kristiansand-Hirtshals route

From 2014 to 2016, Fjord Line grew with 26,000 passengers and 7,400 cars on the route between Kristiansand and Hirtshals. In 2016, the shipping company transported 213,000 passengers on the route, divided into 576 sailings.

– We want to be innovative in the development of new products and routes, an overarching core strategy we hope will ensure continued growth for many years to come, says Rickard Ternblom in Fjord Line.


Technical information about the ship (HSC Fjord Cat in brackets)

Length 109m (91m)

Width 30.5m (26m)

Depth under the waterline 3.8m (3.8m)

Passengers 1,200 (676)

Passenger vehicles 410 (200)

Freight >500LM (lane meters) (0 m)

Speed 40 knots (40 knots)

Crossing time 2h15min (2h 15min)

 

Boskalis acquires subsea survey specialist Gardline

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Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V. announces that it has acquired all shares of the Gardline Group (Gardline) as of today. The UK based company’s main activities include marine geophysical surveys, offshore geotechnical services and environmental surveys. With the acquisition Boskalis fulfils its strategic ambition to build a position in the offshore survey market and becomes a specialist provider of subsea geotechnical surveys with an exposure to the renewables market and the early cyclical oil and gas market. Gardline operates 15 survey related vessels in addition to 25 smaller vessels including crew transfer vessels and survey catamarans.

The consideration paid including assumed debt amounts to approximately GBP 40 million. The current annual revenue level is approximately GBP 60-70 million. Based on the challenging near-term outlook Boskalis does not expect the transaction to be EBIT accretive within the next few years. This transaction however positions Boskalis well for when end-markets recover.

Gardline was established in 1969 and was a second-generation family-owned business. The company’s principal offices are located in Great Yarmouth, UK with further activities in the USA, Brazil and Singapore. Gardline currently employs approximately 750 employees including a pool of 100 surveyors. The core geographical market is Northwest Europe, where Gardline is the main competitor of Fugro in marine surveys. With the acquisition Boskalis strengthens its position as marine services provider in Northwest Europe.

All-time record for Viking Line in July – over one million passengers chose the big red boats

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Viking Line’s passenger volume on all routes in July stood at record high 1,021,890 passengers, up by 9 per cent compared to the same period last year. The number of cars transported increased by 14 per cent to stand at 138,168.

The biggest growth occurred on the Helsinki (Finland) – Tallinn (Estonia) route where Viking Line offered 12 daily departures this summer. Viking Line responded to the high demand by introducing a new vessel, Viking FSTR i.e. Faster, which operates on the route from 10 April – 22 October. The total number of passengers carried by Viking Line on this route during July was 378,704, up by 24 per cent on the same period last year.

Growth was also observed on many other routes, e.g. cruises from Stockholm (Sweden) to Mariehamn (Åland), and the short route between Mariehamn and Kapellskär (Sweden). Passenger volumes on the long routes between Finland and Sweden were stable. The share of international customers was higher than in previous years – a trend that has continued for some time.

Passenger volumes:                                                              2016                    2017

Helsinki-Mariehamn-Stockholm                                             114,620               114,872

Turku-Åland Islands-Stockholm                                             276,414               275,947

Helsinki-Tallinn                                                                      305,315               378,704

Cinderella cruises from Stockholm                                        106,891               111,487

Mariehamn-Kapellskär                                                           131,538               137,111

(Stockholm-Tallinn/ Mariehamn–Tallinn)                                   4,229                    3,769

Total numbers of passengers                                             939,007               1,021 890 + 9 %

Personbilar totalt                                                                     121,498               138,168 + 14 %

“We are very satisfied with the trend of passenger numbers in July and are pleased that so many people are choosing to travel on our vessels. The price competition this summer has been fierce, which has benefited customers,” says Jan Hanses, President and CEO of Viking Line.

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