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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.

Stena Line to add extra North Sea freight capacity on Rotterdam to Harwich route

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London, 21 July 2017 – In response to demand on the route from Rotterdam (Europoort) to Harwich, Stena Line is to increase capacity by changing to larger ships 

The current RoRo ships the Capucine and Severine operating twice daily from Europoort in the Netherlands and Harwich in the UK will be replaced by larger ships, the RoRo ships MV Misida and MV Misana, when their present charter contracts expire in January 2018. The overall freight capacity of the route will hereby increase by some 20%.

The change coincides with the expected completion of a second berth in Europoort, part of a significant investment program in the port to ensure it develops into a strong multipurpose freight transport hub. The capacity expansion is also linked to Europoort developing as an important rail freight connection point to and from the UK.

Annika Hult, Trade Director at Stena Line North Sea says: “I am very pleased to announce that we will now take the next step in the strategic development of our Rotterdam (Europoort) – Harwich route. We have seen a strong growth in the transport market to the UK over the past several years and we are currently trading at very high utilization on this route. This has been further fuelled by freight volumes arriving to Europoort by train. The current rail connections between Poznan, Poland and Europoort, which changed ownership earlier this year, are running very well. We believe that this combination of rail and RoRo transportation will only increase in the future.”

“We have seen a strong growth in the transport market to the UK over the past several years and we intend to maintain our strong position on the Continent – UK market. We want to be in the best place to care for the business needs of our most important relations, our customers. With this tonnage change and capacity increase we clearly show that we will be keep on providing a reliable service where we can meet future demands. Europoort continues to develop as a key freight hub for Stena Line and we are confident our customers will react positively to our further expansion.

The new vessels will be chartered on a time-charter contract and will consequently be fully manned. Unfortunately this will impact our onboard staff. As a company we want to avoid as many redundancies from happening as reasonably possible and we will be looking at all available options including redeployment to other vessels within Stena Line ”, she continues.

Facts MV Misida and MV Misana

Type of ship: RoRo
Year of construction: 2007
Length: 165.75 m
Width: 23.4 m
Service speed: ~19 kn
Passengers: 12, Lane meters: 2,155

The Costa Concordia Ship Recycling Project has been completed in Genoa

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– The dismantling and recycling of the Costa Concordia cruise ship, one of the most important green ship recycling projects ever carried out in Europe, has been completed in Genoa by San Giorgio del Porto, in partnership with Saipem.

The success of these operations represents an additional recognition of the high value of Italian naval engineering, while demonstrating the importance of a ship recycling activity that is respectful of the environment and of the safety of workers, in accordance with the most recent European regulations.

Less than three years have passed since the arrival of the Costa Concordia wreck in Genoa, on July 27th 2014. Below some of the most significant numbers of this project since the beginning of the operations:

 

 

  • Workforce employed: up to 350
  • Total effective hours worked: approximately 1 million
  • Companies and suppliers involved: 78 (98% of them are Italian)
  • Total recycled material: approximately 90%, equal to over 53,000 tons for almost 4,000 trips to recycling facilities in Italy
  • Total dismantled material: 8,000 tons with over 850 trips to dismantling facilities.

AUSTAL LAUNCHES 50 METRE HIGH SPEED PASSENGER FERRY IN PHILIPPINES

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Austal Limited (Austal) (ASX:ASB) is pleased to announce the 50 metre high-speed passenger ferry SeaStar 11, for Seaspovill of South Korea, has been successfully launched at the company’s shipyard in the Philippines.

Austal was awarded the A$16 million contract for the Incat Crowther designed catamaran in June 2016, following Seaspovill’s continued satisfaction with a pre-owned Austal vessel, Seastar 3, constructed in 1998.

Austal Chief Executive Officer David Singleton said the successful launch of the Seaspovill ferry, on schedule, confirms Austal’s ability to deliver multiple vessel programs for numerous customers, from a single shipyard.

“Austal Philippines has had 4 vessels for 3 international customers under construction over recent months, demonstrating proven skills in managing multiple, complex commercial vessel projects, simultaneously.

“Customers like Seaspovill of South Korea are benefiting from Austal’s valuable experience, having delivered more than 255 vessels worldwide since 1988. Commercial operators appreciate the extraordinary focus we have on delivering the highest quality ships, on time and on budget,” Mr Singleton said.

Transporting as many as 450 passengers at speeds greater than 40 knots, the new ferry is Austal’s first new build for a South Korean operator and will join Seapovill’s growing fleet operating out of the Port of Donghae.

Austal Philippines delivered two 30 metre high speed passenger ferries to the 2Go Group of the Philippines in June and construction continues of a 56 metre high speed passenger ferry for FRS of Germany.

Statoil awards contract on new shuttle tankers

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Statoil and AET extend partnership in North Sea shuttle sector as Statoil awards a contract to AET to operate two specialist DP2 offshore loading shuttle tankers (OLSTs) on long-term charter.

Statoil ASA and AET, one of the world’s leading petroleum and chemical tanker owners and operators, announce that they are extending their partnership in the North Sea shuttle tanker sector. Statoil has, today, awarded a long-term contract to AET, a subsidiary of Malaysian energy shipping group, MISC Berhad, to operate two specialist DP2 offshore loading shuttle tankers (OLSTs) on long-term charter. These new vessels will be in addition to the two AET DP2 ships currently on charter, in the same area, for Statoil.

These new vessels are in addition to the two AET DP2 ships currently on charter in the same area for Statoil. The two existing DP2 tankers are owned and operated by AET Sea Shuttle AS (AETSS), a joint venture company formed in 2012 that is also 95% owned by AET and 5% by Norwegian ADS Shipping.

The two twin skeg 125,000dwt tankers will be built by Samsung Heavy Industries for delivery in 2019 and will be contracted to Statoil for operations both in oilfields on the Norwegian Continental Shelf of the North Sea, Norwegian Sea and the southern Barents Sea as well as on the UK Continental Shelf.

Built to a superior specification with a fatigue life based on 30 years of operations in the North Sea, they will be fully capable of working in the harshest of weather conditions. Each will be equipped with winterisation features, high power thrusters, shaft generators and the latest generation of bow loading system.

With a focus on energy efficiency, the shuttle tankers will be built with LNG dual-fuel for main and auxiliary engines and also an option to be fitted with a volatile organic compound (VOC) recovery system. Other environmental innovations will maximise fuel efficiency and minimise emissions. When in operation from 2019, these two DPSTs are expected to be the world’s first LNG fueled DPSTs and most energy efficient.

“Statoil is pleased to award this contract to AET and their partners and thereby deepen and increase our cooperation within shuttle tanker operations. The agreed newbuild state-of-the-art DP2 shuttle tankers will strengthen Statoil’s position for safe, efficient and cost competitive transportation of offshore loaded crude oil production to our customers. The fuel efficiency features built into these vessels, including LNG duel fuel capabilities, will significantly reduce operational costs and climate emissions. As such this contract is strongly aligned with Statoil’s sharpened strategy,” says Statoil’s senior vice president for asset management in Marketing, Midstream and Processing, Grete Birgitte Haaland.

Captain Rajalingam Subramaniam, chairman, AET Sea Shuttle AS (AETSS) and president & CEO, AET, said:

“We first forged a partnership with Statoil in 2012 when we were awarded a long-term contract to operate two state-of-the-art shuttle tankers in the North and Barents Sea. I am delighted that Statoil has recognised and endorsed the quality of our operations in this most demanding of environments by giving us a further opportunity to support their business with two additional state-of-the-art DPSTs. We believe, as part of the MISC Group, our strategic partnership and our innovative solutions gave us the edge over other operators in the North Sea.

Statoil is global leader in this region and I am confident that we will deliver on the trust they continue to place in our capability to deliver flawless operations in this challenging region. We are proud to be extending our partnership with this world leading oil company.”

In 2012, AET formed a joint venture company – AET Sea Shuttle AS – 95% owned by AET and 5% owned by Norwegian ADS Shipping, to own and operate two North Sea DP vessels. The two new ships will also be owned and operated by the same joint venture partners. OSM Maritime Group will provide the lead technical management, supported by the MISC Group, during the newbuilding.

ADS and OSM group chairman, Bjørn Tore Larsen said:

“This is a great opportunity for us to extend our successful partnership with AET. We have been operating in this region for many years and extending the joint venture cements our relationship both with AET and Statoil. I firmly believe that the combination of technical, operational and commercial skills delivered through the joint venture will continue to provide Statoil with an ocean transportation solution that is second to none”.

OSM Maritime Group will provide the lead technical management, supported by the MISC Group, during the construction of the vessels.

Rolls-Royce to provide power for the world’s largest hybrid ferry

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Image Courtesy: Fosen/Ulstein Group
Image Courtesy: Fosen/Ulstein Group

Rolls-Royce has received an order for four B33:45L diesel engines to power the world’s largest hybrid ferry being built for the Norwegian cruise and transport company Color Line.

The ferry is designed by Fosen and will be built at Ulstein Verft in Norway. When completed by the summer of 2019, it will operate on the crossing between Sandefjord in Norway and Strømstad in Sweden.

The new Color Line ferry will be a plug-in hybrid combining diesel and electrical power. The batteries will be recharged via a power cable with green electricity from Color Line’s own shore facilities or recharged on board by the ship’s generators. The 160-metre long vessel will have a capacity for 2,000 passengers and 500 cars.

The four engines from Rolls-Royce are scheduled to be delivered in March 2018. The contract comes with an option to provide engines for a second vessel.

Kjell Harloff, Rolls-Royce, VP Engines – Marine, said: “The shipbuilding industry in Norway has lately proven its competitiveness internationally in the cruise and ferry market, and we are proud to be part of these innovative new building projects. Our Bergen engines have now been sold to nine vessels in this particular segment over the past year. It is a track record which demonstrates a highly attractive and competitive engine range.”

The Bergen B33:45 In-line diesel engine from Rolls-Royce was first introduced at SMM, Hamburg, in September 2014. Available with six, eight or nine cylinders, close to sixty engines have been sold to date. Orders have been received for various vessel types from all over the world including Norway, UK, Spain, Canada, China, Singapore and New Zealand. Last month, during the Nor-Shipping event in Oslo Rolls-Royce also launched an expansion of the engine range in this series, with a new a V-line version to address a bigger portion of the marine and land market.

The Norwegian company Color Line represents more than 100 years of continuous line of traffic between Norway and Europe. The company was established in 1990, based on the Kosmos-companies Jahre Line and Norway Line. Today they are Norway’s largest and one of Europe’s leading cruise and transport shipping companies, and operate six RoRo passenger ferries in regular traffic between Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Germany.

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines ventures into new ‘European River Cruising’ on ‘Brabant’ in 2018

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Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines has today [Wednesday 17th May 2017] announced the launch of its new dedicated cruise programme by river boat, unveiled in its new ‘European River Cruising by Fred. Olsen’ brochure. Fred. Olsen River Cruises is now offering European river cruise holidays, between 5th April and 3rd November 2018, on board 156-guest river boat, Brabant, to go on general sale from 26th May 2017.

Fred. Olsen will be operating its new river cruise programme – taking in some of Europe’s most beautiful rivers, including the Danube, Rhine, Main and Moselle – on a total of 30 departures in 2018, on durations ranging from five to 25 nights, complemented by a selection of high-quality chargeable shore excursions, designed to enhance guests’ experience of the destination.

Fred. Olsen will be bringing its unique style of ‘destination exploration’ to the river cruise market, with exciting itineraries visiting some of Europe’s most stunning rivers, canals and valleys. Guests can choose to sail the breath-taking Danube, taking in the major cities and wildlife-rich Danube Delta; savour the highlights of the heart of Europe, along the twists and turns of the Moselle, Rhine and Main valleys; or enjoy a ‘taster’ cruise to Amsterdam, when the tulips are in full bloom.

Importantly, Fred. Olsen has also incorporated a large amount of scenic cruising in daylight hours into its new river cruise itineraries, so that guests can make the most of the spectacular scenery on offer at the best time of the day.

Justin Stanton, Sales and Marketing Director for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said:

“At Fred. Olsen, we specialise in creating a ‘home-from-home’ atmosphere on our ocean cruises, and we are proud to be bringing our many decades of expertise and rich sailing heritage to the river cruise market for the very first time. In fact, the name Brabant harks back to Fred. Olsen’s historic passenger ship of the same name from the 1920s.

“Guests can rest assured that the new Fred. Olsen river cruises will be underpinned by the usual high standards, award-winning customer service and understated elegance that they have come to expect of our ocean-going offer. We firmly believe that we have crafted the perfect formula to ensure that our new river cruise guests are able to get the most out of their holiday with Fred. Olsen.”

Fred. Olsen’s new river cruise itineraries on board Brabant for 2018 include: Düsseldorf, Germany to Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Düsseldorf to Nuremberg, Germany; Nuremberg to Budapest, Hungary; Budapest to Hirsova (Bucharest), Romania; Düsseldorf to Basel, Switzerland;and Hirsova (Bucharest) to Düsseldorf.

Built in 2006, 110-metre-long Brabant is a stylish and comfortable river cruise boat, and has everything that guests will need to make their holiday a memorable one: from bright and spacious public areas, to well-equipped bedrooms and ample deck space, from which to enjoy the superb views. With just four decks – Haydn Deck 1, Strauss Deck 2, Mozart Deck 3 and Sun Deck 4 – and fewer than 80 rooms and suites, staffed by 40 crew members, Brabanthas the intimate and friendly feel that Fred. Olsen’s guests know and love.

Brabant’s classic design is smaller than many river boats, so guests will enjoy the usual hallmarks of Fred. Olsen’s ‘closer’ approach to cruising. In keeping with Fred. Olsen’s ocean-going fleet, this smaller-scaled vessel has the style, atmosphere and elegance of a country house hotel. Cherry wood interiors and contemporary colours combine to make guests feel relaxed from the moment that they step on board. Juliette balconies with panoramic windows are a feature of many of the rooms, so that guests can enjoy expansive views of Europe’s most impressive waterways.

Fred. Olsen guests – who are predominantly British – will also feel at home on board Brabant, with English spoken throughout and all transactions conducted in Pounds Sterling. The British taste will also be reflected in the cuisine, customer service and shore tours on offer.

All holidays featured in the new ‘River Cruising by Fred. Olsen’ brochure are based on fly-cruises, and include return flights from / to a London airport and transfers to / from the boat. Cruise-only options are also available.

An example itinerary from the new ‘European River Cruisingby Fred. Olsen’ brochure is as follows:

Springtime Dutch Discovery– 5-night fly-cruise via London, from Amsterdam to Dűsseldorf, prices from £999 per person (fly-cruise package) / £749 (cruise-only, excluding flights / transfers), based on two adults sharing a Standard Room.

Selection of dates available: 5th April 2018 (R1801) to 15th April 2018 (R1803)

Ports of call: Amsterdam, The Netherlands – Cruising across IJsselmeer – Hoorn, The Netherlands – Kampen, The Netherlands – Cruising IJssel River – Deventer, The Netherlands – Cruising past Zutphen – Arnhem, The Netherlands – Cruising the Pannerden Canal & Fortress – Nijmegen, The Netherlands – Dűsseldorf, Germany

With so much variety in one short sailing, this is the perfect way to sample the river cruising experience. Starting in Amsterdam, you will be able to visit legendary Keukenhof Gardens and view the vibrant tulips in bloom.

Then, from gliding through Dutch countryside, to transiting the Pannerden Canal, there is a wealth of scenic delights to be discovered, from the elegant comfort of ‘Brabant’. Dotted along the route are towns and cities steeped in seafaring history and authentic culture.

As with its ocean cruises, peace of mind and relaxation start from the moment that guests choose a Fred. Olsen holiday! Fred. Olsen’s new river cruise programme will be reinforced by its industry-leading Enjoyment Promise: if guests book at least 12 weeks in advance, on cruises of five nights or more, and find that the cruise is not for them within 24 hours of sailing, they just need to let Reception know on board and Fred. Olsen promises to arrange and pay for their flight back to the UK from the next port and repay the cost of their cruise.

The ATSB has released its preliminary investigation report into the Propulsion failure on board Norwegian Star, Bass Strait, Victoria on 10 February 2017

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On 9 February 2017, the passenger cruise ship Norwegian Star departed Melbourne, Australia, on a scheduled cruise to Dunedin, New Zealand. There were 2113 passengers and 1017 crew on board. On departure, the starboard propulsion unit (Azipod) was operational and the port Azipod was under repair.

At about 0134 on 10 February, the vessel was about 18 nautical miles south-west of Cape Liptrap, Victoria, when the starboard Azipod failed. Propulsion power could not be restored and two tugs were deployed from Melbourne to tow Norwegian Star back to Melbourne. The vessel arrived back without further incident at about midnight on 11 February 2017.

Based on the preliminary information, the ATSB found that the Norwegian Star experienced three separate propulsion unit failures over a period of about nine weeks. In each case, the field exciter unit for the main propulsion motor failed. The first two failures (the starboard unit in December and the port unit in January) involved a breakdown of electrical insulation and the third failure (on 10 February 2017) related to a modification made to the starboard Azipod exciter unit during its earlier repair.

Preliminary investigation report:

Propulsion failure on board Norwegian Star, Bass Strait, Victoria on 10 February 2017

 

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