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New Zealand: Stena Alegra heads south to the Cook Strait
Thursday, 30 January 2014 15:13

 Stena Alegra has been chartered for service in New Zealand. Stena Alegra has been chartered for service in New Zealand.

Ro-pax ferry Stena Alegra was not idle for long after being displaced on Stena Line’s cross-Baltic service between Karlskrona, Sweden and Gdynia, Poland by the introduction of the chartered Brittany Ferries vessel Cotentin as Stena Baltica. The 1998-built Stena Alegra, originally Cenargo’s Dawn Merchant, left for New Zealand at the end of November 2013 and was due to begin a six-month charter to Interisland Line in January.

A vessel was urgently needed to operate on the Cook Strait service between Wellington and Picton after route regular Aratere (1998/12,596gt) lost a propeller while at sea early in November 2013, not being expected to return to service before the end of the Southern Hemisphere summer season.

 
NORTH CHANNEL: 3i Group control Scandlines
Tuesday, 14 January 2014 00:00

Prins Joachim passing Warnemünde at the start of a Scandlines sailing from Rostock to Gedser. The 1980-built vessel and route partner Kronprins Frederik were originally Great Belt train ferries. Russell PlummerPrins Joachim passing Warnemünde at the start of a Scandlines sailing from Rostock to Gedser. The 1980-built vessel and route partner Kronprins Frederik were originally Great Belt train ferries. Russell Plummer

London-based international investor 3i Group plc has bought the 49 per cent stake of co-shareholder Allianz Capital Partners (ACP) to become 100 per cent owners of Scandlines, valuing the Baltic ferry operator at more than €1.3 billion. As part of 3i’s acquisition of ACP’s stake, Scandlines has successfully refinanced its current debt facilities into a new €875 million package. Initially 3i shares dropped five pence, or 1.44 per cent, to 370 pence, valuing the company at £3.65 billion.

Scandlines was acquired by 3i and ACP for €1.5 million at the peak of the buy-out boom in 2007, and during 2012, after concentrating on shorter routes from Denmark and Sweden to Germany, selling longer Baltic services to Stena Line, it carried 11.7 million passengers, 2.7 million cars and 0.8 million cargo units.

 
LOCH LOMOND: Good support for Maid
Monday, 23 December 2013 10:35

Maid of the Loch at Balloch Pier.Maid of the Loch at Balloch Pier.

The £3.3 million appeal to restore the paddle steamer Maid of the Loch to service on Loch Lomond attracted donations of more than £102,000 in its first nine months, with support coming from individuals in all parts of Britain as well as enthusiasts in the United States, Canada and Switzerland.

Phil Preston, Chairman of the Maid’s owners, the Loch Lomond Steamship Company, said: ‘This is a magnificent total and shows the support there is to get the Maid sailing again. We’ve enjoyed a great year, and to have achieved over £100,000 in less than nine months is quite remarkable.’

 

 
LD LINES Service: New Spanish link launched
Tuesday, 10 December 2013 00:00

Norman Asturias making a first appearance at Poole on 5 November when opening a new LD Lines link with Santander, Spain.  Kevin MitchellNorman Asturias making a first appearance at Poole on 5 November when opening a new LD Lines link with Santander, Spain. Kevin Mitchell

LD Lines’ new UK-Northern Spain service between Poole and Santander got off to a stormy start at the beginning of November 2013 with the first northbound sailing by Norman Asturias (2007/26,500gt) having to be diverted to Portsmouth. This followed delays encountered in the Bay of Biscay which meant the vessel’s Poole berth would have been occupied by Barfleur on Brittany Ferries’ Cherbourg route.

There will be sailings from Poole each Tuesday and Saturday with Sunday/Thursday departures from Spain for a service with a 26-hour passage time in either direction that is aimed at both freight and passengers. On long-term charter from Stena RoRo, Norman Asturias offers 480 passenger berths in 120 cabins and was switched from LD’s ‘Motorways of the Sea’ route between Saint-Nazaire and Gijon, which she had served since April 2011.

 
COMPANY NEWS: Tough going for P&O Ferries
Thursday, 28 November 2013 15:06

Spirit of Britain on the Dover-Calais route.Spirit of Britain on the Dover-Calais route.

Fierce competition and increasing operating costs are making life tough for P&O Ferries on the English Channel, North Sea and Irish Sea, annual reports for the company’s four ferry divisions reveal. Turnover on short sea services increased to £322 million during 2012 (2011 was £272 million), as a result of volume increases following the demise of competitor SeaFrance.

During 2012 freight carryings went up from 1.282 million to 1,068 million; tourist vehicles increased to 1.442 million from 1.307 million and total passenger numbers were up from 7.5 million to 8.4 million. Profit after tax for the year was £23.5 million (2011 £6.1 million) with an operating profit of £38.6 million (2011-£13.4 million).

 
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