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ENGLISH CHANNEL: Dieppe-Newhaven route continues with DFDS
Friday, 19 December 2014 09:04

Côte d’Albâtre arriving at Newhaven. Maritime PhotographicCôte d’Albâtre arriving at Newhaven. Maritime Photographic

Cross-channel sailings from Dieppe to Newhaven will continue throughout 2015 with additional high season departures as a result of an agreement between operator DFDS Seaways and Syndicat Mixte de Promotion de L’Activité Transmanche (SMPAT) from French regional authority Conseil Generale Seine Maritime.

The agreement is understood to include the use of both vessels owned by SMPAT. These are Côte d’Albâtre, maintaining a single-ship Dieppe service, and Seven Sisters from the Portsmouth-Le Havre route, which is expected to close soon, with Newhaven departures rising to three return sailings a day during peak periods.

There are also plans to convert the 18,564gt vessels, which were delivered from Vigo, Spain, by J. Barreras in 2006, to meet the requirements of the MARPOL IV directive by using cleaner fuels. They carry up to 600 passengers, with 190 cabin berths and vehicle deck space for 224 cars.


BRITTANY FERRIES: LNG upgrade plans suspended
Tuesday, 25 November 2014 00:00

The 1992-built Normandie, arriving in Portsmouth after a crossing from Ouistreham in May, recently went to Santander for exhaust scrubbers to be fitted. Dan HallThe 1992-built Normandie, arriving in Portsmouth after a crossing from Ouistreham in May, recently went to Santander for exhaust scrubbers to be fitted. Dan Hall

Brittany Ferries have been forced to suspend plans to upgrade much of its fleet to operate on Liquefied Natural Gas and also put on hold its construction of an LNG-powered ‘Pegasis Project’ cruise ferry for service from Portsmouth and Plymouth to Santander in Spain.

Plans to comply with new emissions rules from 2015 included the installation of scrubbers on three ships and the conversion to allow three newer vessels to operate on LNG. But Brittany Ferries chairman Jean Marc Roué commented: ‘It is impossible to commit to an ecological transition plan which requires such a high level of investment when, due to the absence of a temporary exemption, we will also incur hefty additional annual costs amounting to tens of millions of euros due to being obliged to use diesel instead of heavy fuel oil until our ships have been converted. We have worked tirelessly for a temporary exemption, but these efforts have been in vain. Without it, the economic viability of our LNG programme is in jeopardy.’

WEST SCOTLAND: New Hebrides and Clyde ferries
Thursday, 20 November 2014 15:39

Caledonian Isles, seen arriving at Brodick, could be replaced by a 1,000 passenger newbuild early in 2018. NICHOLAS LEACHCaledonian Isles, seen arriving at Brodick, could be replaced by a 1,000 passenger newbuild early in 2018. NICHOLAS LEACH

Scottish Transport minister Keith Brown announced the start of the procurement process to provide two new 100m car ferries for CalMac’s Hebridean and Clyde services. The first, due for completion in 2017, will take over the routes from Uig, Skye to Lochmaddy, North Uist, and Tarbert, Harris, maintained by the 2001-built Hebrides, and the other is to serve Arran from 2018, where the Ardrossan-Brodick route is in the hands of Caledonian Isles.

Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL) has started a process on behalf of Scottish Ministers to gauge market interest before issuing shipyards with a formal invitation to tender for a contract to be awarded in spring 2015. The new vessels will be fitted with twin LNG dual-fuelled engines driving controllable pitch propellers through gearboxes, with a requirement for a service speed of 16.5 knots and a carrying capacity of 1,000 passengers, 127 cars or 16 heavy goods vehicles. The ferries are being designed to provide a fully flexible year-round service for Arran and the Uig Triangle.

IRISH SEA: Another Superfast taken by Stena
Tuesday, 28 October 2014 00:00

Dieppe Seaways departs Calais in May 2013. Darren HoldawayDieppe Seaways departs Calais in May 2013. Darren HoldawayStena Line remain tight-lipped over the deployment of Stena Superfast X, which joins their fleet early in 2015. Although an appearance on the Irish Sea service between Holyhead and Dublin has been rumoured for several months, neither Stena’s head office in Gothenburg nor Irish Sea management had made any announcement before the end of September.

MacGregor, part of Cargotec, say they have been contracted to provide a complete turnkey delivery of ro-ro cargo access equipment for the vessel, including the design and installation of bow doors, a bow ramp, a new watertight door and a stern ramp, and seem to be in no doubt that Stena Superfast X will be making an Irish Sea debut from Holyhead next January.

BALTIC SEA: Sirena Seaways leaves the North Sea for Estonia
Thursday, 16 October 2014 10:11

Sirena Seaways at Esbjerg. John HeadonSirena Seaways at Esbjerg. John HeadonWithin hours of her arrival in Esbjerg on 29 September following the final sailing from Harwich to close a DFDS route with a history stretching back 134 years, ro-pax vessel Sirena Seaways sailed for Frederikstad, Norway to collect military equipment for transportation to the Danish ports of Aalborg and then Kalundborg. There was also to be a spell of engine works before a move to the Baltic to boost DFDS capacity between Estonia and Sweden. After serving Harwich since 2002, the 22,382gt Sirena Seaways’ first Baltic sailing from Paldiski to Kapellskar was scheduled for 6 October.

The current deck and engine room staff stayed with the ship, while Estonian catering staff were brought in as Sirena Seaways replaced Patria Seaways (1991/18,332gt), which has been on the route since 2011. Her previous service included spells as Stena Traveller on the North Sea, English Channel and Irish Sea before and after time with TT-Line as TT-Traveller.

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