Seatruck Ferries "Clipper Pennant" is currently on charter to Smyril Line covering Torshavn - Hirtshals sailings while " Norrona" has been undergoing her annual survey and also covering the internal Torshavn - Suduroy route while Strandfara Landsins " Smyril" is dry-docked at the Fayard shipyard at Lindo in Denmark. "Isle of Lewis" returned to Ullapool Stornoway service on 16th February after 3 weeks drydock in Leith where she had a considerable amount of internal refurbishment with new seating in the forward Lounge and a major overhaul of her main engines. "Hebrides" deputised on the Ullapool - Stornoway route while "Finlaggan" remains on the Uig - Tarbert (Harris) and Uig - Lochmaddy routes. Orkney Ferries "Varagen" drydocked at grangemouth on 15th February. Northlink Ferries vessels are undergoing "in water" surveys this year without coming out of service.
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Stena Line has confirmed there was an incident at Holyhead port in Anglesey at around 6am this morning as the Stena Line charter ship Finnarrow was berthing in Holyhead en route from Dublin Port which involved the ship’s stabilisers. All 77 passengers and 43 crew onboard the vessel were evacuated and the vessel was safely berthed.
Passengers and freight firms may face higher ticket prices following Eurotunnel's purchase of three ferries from defunct operator SeaFrance, according to the competition watchdog. By adding ferry services to its existing Channel Tunnel business, Eurotunnel would "significantly increase" its already high share of the cross-Channel market and prices would rise, the Competition Commission (CC) has provisionally found. The watchdog said Eurotunnel decided to acquire the SeaFrance ferries in order to prevent ferry operator DFDS/LD Lines from buying them. Eurotunnel was concerned that if DFDS/LD Lines acquired the assets cheaply, it could drive down prices for customers, the CC found. The group last year branched out into sea transport with the 65m euros (£56m) purchase of three of the ships formerly operated by SeaFrance, a unit of French railway operator SNCF that went into liquidation early last year. France's competition watchdog cleared the takeover which saw Eurotunnel launch ferry services between Dover and Calais on August 20, under the MyFerryLink brand.
Brittany Ferries, has announced that it will commence services between Portsmouth and Le Havre from 17th May to run throughout the summer until 16th September. Operating four days a week, from Thursday to Sunday, using their high-speed vessel, the crossing will take just 3 hours 45 minutes and will provide the ideal way to get to France quickly. Mike Bevens, Group Passenger Commercial Director, comments: “Bookings have bounced back this year and we saw an opportunity to increase our range of destinations and therefore provide even greater choice for our customers, particularly those heading for eastern France, Paris and the Alps. This new route brings the total number provided by Brittany Ferries between the UK and France to six – more than any other ferry company.”
29 January 2013: The uncertainty surrounding the funding of the employee partnership which operates the MyFerryLink cross Channel service has largely been removed with the announcement of a settlement between the company and the SeaFrance liquidator. On 23 January, at a hearing of the Tribunal de Commerce in Paris, agreement was reached for the payment of €25,000 for each former SeaFrance employee in France who has joined the new MyFerryLink enterprise – a sum of almost €10 million. In total, 371 qualifying staff joined the ‘SCOP’ partnership which began its services on 20 August 2012, after concluding contractual negotiations with Groupe Eurotunnel, which had purchased three former SeaFrance vessels and associated assets.
Work has commenced this week on a major construction project to provide the P&O Ferries Division-owned Port of Cairnryan with new facilities to support its ferry operations on the Irish Sea. Civil engineering contractors McLaughlin & Harvey have been appointed to provide a new roll-on/roll-off linkspan at the port. This replacement floating ramp structure will be used by the freight and tourist vehicles shipping with P&O Ferries’ services to and from Larne when it is completed at the end of the year.
Stena Line Freight has been named Short Sea Shipping Company of the Year at the prestigious Irish Exporters Association’s Export Industry Awards. The Export Industry Awards recognise the tremendous achievements of companies working in the industry who have helped the export-led recovery by boosting Ireland's total exports of goods and services to an all-time high of €171 billion in the past year. The awards recognise all export industry sectors from services to manufacturing sectors from companies trading successfully in tough European markets to the companies trading in far-flung markets against the odds. The Short Sea Shipping Company of the Year Award recognises the outstanding achievement in the delivery of these services to and from Ireland, while also highlighting the strategically significant role it plays to the economy. Frank Nieuwenhuys, Stena Line’s freight commercial manager, UK & Ireland said, “ As this award is presented to the company which has made the most valuable contribution to the efficiency of the maritime transport mode in Ireland, we are thrilled to have been named the Short Sea Shipping Company of the Year. This comes one month after we were named Shipping Line of the Year at the Export & Freight Awards. “Despite the current economic climate, we have continued to invest heavily in our services and facilities to ensure that we remain the ferry operator of choice. In fact, the past year has been one of the biggest for Stena Line on the Irish Sea as we launched a purpose built £80 million Loch Ryan Port and terminal facility in Cairnryan, added the two largest ferries ever to sail between Northern Ireland and Scotland and completed the acquisition of our new routes from Belfast to Liverpool (Birkenhead) and Belfast to Heysham and on the latter we deployed new F-Class ships which provide the most up to date tonnage as well as additional capacity. “By continuing such investment, we have been able to keep our customers in focus, helping improve efficiency with shorter travel times and new sailing options, all of which have helped reduce journey costs for hauliers whilst contributing towards improved delivery schedules in line with market demands,” Frank added. The president of the Irish Exporters Association, Colin Lawlor said he was very heartened by Stena Line’s, ''fully committed services offering to Irish based exporters' and was confident this would assist Ireland's export-led recovery.”
STENA Line's CEO, Gunnar Blomdahl, will be finishing after 10 years in the role on January 1 next year. Carl-Johan Hagman, who currently has responsibility for all shipping operations in the Stena Group, has been appointed as the new CEO of the company. Gunnar Blomdahl took over as Stena Line's CEO in 2003. During the years with Gunnar as CEO, Stena Line has developed into one of the world's largest ferry companies and has seen its most profitable years. The company has invested around £1.1bn in new tonnage and geographic expansion, e.g. through the acquisition of Scandline's five Baltic routes a few months ago. "I have been the Chief Executive Officer for 10 years and it is time for a new CEO to take over and continue the development of Stena Line," Gunnar Blomdahl says. "I will now continue in the Stena Sphere, including positions on the boards of the Ballingslöv Group, Stena Recycling and Stena Technoworld." Commenting on the change in CEO, Stena AB's Chief Executive Officer, Dan Sten Olsson, said: "I am very pleased with Stena Line's development under Gunnar's leadership and over the past year, the company improved its result by £27.5M. Apart from this, Gunnar has led the work with continuous improvements, development and expansion in an extraordinary way and he leaves Stena Line in a very good condition." Carl-Johan Hagman (46) will take over as CEO with effect from January 1. Since autumn 2011, he has been responsible for the Stena Group's shipping operations, which include Stena Line. Carl-Johan will continue to hold this position in the Stena Group in the future. Carl-Johan Hagman commented: "Stena Line is one of the linchpins in Stena AB. The company's strategy remains in place and our continuous efforts to offer comfortable, cost-effective and environmentally efficient ferry transport, to both private travellers and industry, will continue. I would like to congratulate Gunnar on successfully leading the company through a sometimes volatile period and thank him for handing over a very well managed company." As a consequence of this change, Carl-Johan Hagman will relinquish the role as Chairman for Stena Line and Dan Sten Olsson will once again take on this role.
Dorset-based ferry operator Condor Ferries has announced that it will return to operating regular sailings from Weymouth next summer, subject to works being completed on the harbour wall. As part of Condor Ferries’ 2013 sailing schedule, regular fast ferry services from Weymouth to the Channel Islands and on to St Malo in France, will return from 17 July 2013. Capt Fran Collins, Operations Director at Condor Ferries, said: “We continue to liaise closely with Weymouth and Portland Borough Council regarding the planned works to the harbour wall, and are pleased to confirm that we will be returning to operating regular sailings from Weymouth next summer, subject to the works being completed. “As in previous years, we will operate sailings from both Poole and Weymouth next summer, offering passengers the opportunity to select their preferred departure port. “We know that many of our customers like to book their travel in advance, so our 2013 schedules will be available later this week, with passengers able to book sailings up to November 2013.” Re-affirming Condor’s commitment to Weymouth, Capt Collins, added: “It has always remained our intention to return to operating regular sailings from Weymouth, once the works to restore the ferry port have been completed. We, along with the Council, recognise that Weymouth is the gateway to the Channel Islands, and the significant opportunities that the connection represents for the town.” Condor’s regular fast ferry services from the UK to the Channel Islands and France will continue to operate from Poole until next July.
Condor Ferries today announced it will be welcoming a new Chief Executive Officer, James Fulford. James has a wealth of experience in the international leisure and tourism industry, gained in the UK and in Australia, and will join the Poole-based cross-Channel ferry operator on 2 January 2013.
DFDS have announced recently that the DELFT SEAWAYS was to be moved to the Dover-Calais route and the DIEPPE SEAWAYS would be operated on the Dover-Dunkerque route from the beginning of November, when she will be added to our Channel fleet. However, both ships need to be modified to be able to use the ramps in their new French port destinations. Carsten Jensen, of DFDS in starement on 2nd November said,“Having considered ways of reducing costs for this, we decided to postpone the modifications works until the ships are in the yard for their annual maintenance work. This will enable us to make considerable cost savings, as well as avoid taking the ships out of service more than once – a key advantage at a time when we need to remain competitive. It will also give us the opportunity to see how well the DIEPPE SEAWAYS is faring on the Calais-Dover Route before we make a final decision on the re-shuffle,” The postponed re-shuffle will also reduce pilot costs as pilot certificates are needed in the port of Dunkerque. DFDS expect that DIEPPE SEAWAYS will commence operations on 6th November.
Following a bidding round in spring, which also DFDS took part in, Eurotunnel took over three of the former SeaFrance’s ships and other operational assets. The ships now operate on the Channel for MyFerryLink, which is mainly made up of former SeaFrance employees. On Monday the British Office of Fair Trading decided that Eurotunnel’s purchase of the ships is to be investigated by the British Competition Commission. “It is very difficult to obtain transparency about the whole scenario, with a significant party as Eurotunnel buying the ships, unclear ownership structure, the partnership with MyFerryLink and possible public funding. Because of this we are happy that it will now be thoroughly investigated so that we can be sure that we are competing on a level playing field and according to the rules,” Niels Smedegaard says. The Competition Commission is expected to reach a decision by 14 April at the latest.
The Stena Europe is understood to have struck an Irish Ferries vessel while docking at the busy port at around 7pm last night. No one was injured in the collision. The Stena Line ship was carrying 474 passengers and 71 crew members when the incident took place. The 'Europe' docked some three hours later than scheduled after the incident took place. Stena Line were forced to cancel its 9pm from Rosslare to Fishguard. A company spokesperson said: "Last night's Stena Europe sailing was cancelled and all outgoing passenger were transferred to Irish Ferries." An Irish Ferries spokesman said: "Following an inspection our ship was deemed fully safe to sail." Both companies have launched separate investigations into the collision. It is understands that the Stena Line vessel was preparing to dock when it struck the bow of the Irish ferries Oscar Wilde, which was docked at the time.
Euroferries announces the launch of it’s 2013 express cross channel service between Ramsgate and Boulogne to commence in February 2013. Euroferries has entered into an agreement with global ship manufacturer Austal, securing the newly built 102m trimaran on a long term charter agreement which will operate this high-speed service. The Trimaran’s state of the art design offers unprecedented sea keeping capabilities, utilising the softer roll of a monohull with the low resistance, stability and carrying capacity of a catamaran, affording unrivalled levels of passenger comfort for travelling across the channel at speed. The vessel will arrive in January 2013, with the service becoming fully operational between Boulogne and Ramsgate during February 2013. The service will offer 4 daily crossings, catering for passengers, cars and luxury coaches. The vessel is capable of achieving speeds in excess of 40 knots thus enabling Euroferries to provide one of the fastest channel crossings available. Euroferries is responding to demand for a fast, efficient and passenger friendly crossing; Euroferries service will provide an “in-seat” shopping service, Wi-Fi Internet access, extensive onboard catering and shopping facilities and easy motorway access to and from both ports, developing and maintaining dedicated customer focus for this unique experience.
DFDS has chartered the MOLIERE for its Channel service. The move is designed to enhance its freight and passenger service on both the Dover-Calais and Dover-Dunkerque routes.
My Ferry Link, which launched a Calais-Dover service on 20 August with ex-SeaFrance vessels leased from Eurotunnel, is running short of cash. The operator is waiting to receive funds from SeaFrance's liquidator, estimated at between €8 million and €10 million. The cash represents "job protection" payments to the 350-400 former staff of the collapsed SNCF-owned ferry operator now employed by My Ferry Link to operate its services within the framework of a workers' co-operative.
Despite typical British weather and a host of sporting action this summer, this surge of late bookings indicates that many families who may have put off a longer summer holiday are still keen for a shorter break in the UK before the start of the new school term. This is mirrored in research carried out by Condor Ferries prior to the Bank Holiday weekend, which found that out of the one in five people still left to book their summer break, almost half (49%) were intending to holiday close to home. Shorter travel times were revealed to be the main attraction for choosing a holiday in the UK, with 52% of people surveyed choosing this as the factor that most affects their decision to choose a break on British soil. Value for money and the wealth of attractions available in the UK also proved to be key reasons, with both cited by over 40% of respondents. Alicia Andrews, Director of Sales and Marketing at Condor Ferries, said: “It’s been great to see our short breaks given such a boost this late in the summer season. Our main destinations of Jersey and Guernsey are the perfect destination for a shorter break, with families having to travel just a short distance to find warm weather, beautiful beaches and a host of great attractions.”
Pim de Lange, Stena Line area director for the business area North Sea, said: “The market conditions for the Rotterdam-Harwich route have been very tough during the past few years, mainly due to a very competitive environment on the North Sea and the financial instability and recession throughout Europe. “This has led to a low capacity utilisation of our two current vessels and a consequential poor financial development for the route.” The two new vessels for the route were built in 2011 and 2012 and have a deck capacity of 1,760 lane metres. “We need to improve efficiency and reduce our operational costs to be able to increase our competitiveness. With this solution we can accomplish that because we will have smaller and cheaper tonnage and, at the same time, we can carry the same volumes that we have today and deliver the same service to our customers”, Pim de Lange said.
The ferry operator increased overall number of passengers across the North Sea for the January-June period by 1.9 per cent and numbers of cars by 1.7 per cent. The numbers represent a total year-on-year increase of 4,000 passengers and 800 cars. The company achieved particularly strong results in the rail and sail ‘dutchflyer’ sector, where it increased numbers by 7 per cent. The Q2 results were stable, with 0.6 per cent growth in car numbers and a 0.7 drop in overall passenger numbers. Numbers of ‘dutchflyer’ passengers in the April-June period were particularly robust, with 11 per cent growth. Since February 2012 Stena Line has worked with rail operator Greater Anglia, which provides the train service from East Anglian stations to Harwich International. Lars Olsson, Stena Line’s general manager for travel on the North Sea, said: “Stena Line is very pleased to see efforts to sustain growth on the North Sea route to Holland paying off. We’re acutely aware of the difficult market conditions and have worked smartly to strengthen demand, despite the context of a slip into the UK’s first double-dip recession since the 1970s. “We invested more than £375 million in our new North Sea Superferries in 2010 so continued growth is of paramount importance. Stena Line expects the sea transport sector to remain volatile throughout 2012 so will redouble its efforts, notably around the 50th anniversary of the company’s founding, this September.” Stena Line operates twice-daily six-hour return crossings between Harwich and the Hook of Holland, with fares starting from £59 one-way for an adult and car. Fares for Stena Line’s dutchflyer rail and sail tickets start from £39 one-way, including Harwich-Hook of Holland crossing and onwards rail travel to any Dutch station.
Ferryspeed will now operate daily shipments of parcels, pallets and full loads to the Isle of Wight, including a dedicated driver accompanied service. Complementing the ‘door to door’ service, a same day delivery can now be accomplished with certain customers throughout the UK - perfect for the automotive industry requiring car parts on the Island within 24 hours. Responsible for the Isle of Wight operation is Dave Houghton, Group Development Manager with day-to-day customer account support from Graham Amey from Ferryspeed’s Transport Department. Dean Sotnick Business Development manager said: “The enhanced service to the Isle of Wight is an extension of what we already offer our customers, but we’re proud to be providing further benefits that will strengthen those existing relationships and appeal to new businesses. Our competitive and efficient service combined with complete customer and project management support enables our customers to place their confidence in a professional, affordable and reliable freight company.” He continued: “It’s been a busy 12 months for Ferryspeed – we’ve developed our commercial and management teams, increased our freight forwarding business overseas, opened a brand new distribution centre in the Midlands and we’re about to ‘go live’ with a new IT system that will revolutionise all working practises to provide enhanced customer service levels. As a company we are excited about the future and are continually looking ahead long-term growth is our aim, not short-term gain.” A temperature controlled service to the Isle of Wight is expected to be launched by Ferryspeed in the Autumn, further enhancing customer satisfaction.
Stuart Garrett the managing director was in Aberdeen to meet staff and passengers to reassure them that for the remainder of 2012 timetables and ticket prices would stay the same. He has also advised that by the start of 2013 passengers can additional seating and new fully reclining seats, a refreshed catering service (including a new cafe bar and restaurant) and the introduction of onboard entertainment as well as enhanced WIFI access. Further changes will include a new online booking facility that is easier to use and regular travellers are also set to benefit from the trial of a loyalty scheme, rewarding passengers with discounts when they make multiple bookings. Mr Garrett will be based in Aberdeen and lead a management team who will be located across the Serco NorthLink Ferries network. He said: “Serco will offer a local service led by a locally based management team. The team and I will be getting out and about to meet with and hear the views of the local community. The safety, quality and reliability of the service is my main motivation. Serco understands the importance of this service, but we’re also ready to grow this service – both in terms of passenger numbers and freight – and ultimately we plan to deliver this for the benefit of the Islanders, local businesses, tourism and the government. I’d also like to stress that whilst we plan to make changes to our freight service according to seasonality, our restructured operations will respond to varied demand throughout the year and the team and I will continue to engage with freight customers to work with them to meet demand.”
Serco has appointed Stuart Garrett as Managing Director of Serco NorthLink Ferries that will shortly take over the Scottish Government contract for the operation of ferry services from the Scottish mainland to the Orkney Islands and Shetland Islands. Stuart is currently Operations and Human Resources Director at the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company, the oldest continuously operating passenger shipping company in the world. He has worked at senior management and director level in the European ferry industry for over 25 years. Previous employers include major ferry companies Sealink, Stena Line and Sea Containers. Jamie Ross, Business Development Director at Serco, said: “Stuart is well qualified to lead NorthLink Ferries for Serco. He is well known and respected in the ferry sector and has a strong understanding of the dynamics of running island ferry services as well as an understanding of Northern Isles communities. We are absolutely delighted that Stuart is joining us and believe he is the ideal candidate to deliver our plans for the next six years, which will build on the strengths of the current NorthLink operation and introduce a variety of improvements to the services.” Stuart, who is a regular on the Islands due to his wife’s Orkney and Shetland heritage, intends to base himself in Aberdeen and lead a management team based across the Serco NorthLink Ferries network. He will be in position for the start of the contract on 5 July. Stuart said: “Having worked in the ferry industry for many years and spent a significant amount of time in the Northern Isles I look forward to ongoing engagement with the local community as we make some exciting enhancements to this vital lifeline ferry service. The safety, quality and reliability of the service we offer to local communities is what will drive me. This is a lifeline service that needs to be delivered with care, but it is also set for growth in passengers and freight which is what Serco plans to do for the benefit of Islanders, businesses, tourism and the government.” Serco was announced as preferred bidder for the Northern Isles ferry services contract by the Scottish Government on 4 May 2012 and will begin operating the services on Thursday 5 July.
The Deal Seaways (ex Barfleur) entered commercial service on the Dover-Calais route on 27th April. She is seen here arriving at Dover for the first time. (John Mavin)
The Ben-my-Chree went to refit on 24th April and is due to return to commercial service on 5th May. In the meantime, the Manannan has undertaken passenger commercial operations in her place on the Heysham and Liverpool services. The InCat craft is seen here leaving Douglas on Wednesday, 25th April during galeforce 8 conditions en route to Liverpool. (Stan Basnett)
The Dover to Calais route is operated in partnership between DFDS and LDA. They have announced that a chartered vessel is to be added to complement the Norman Spirit from the 27th April. This will double the frequency to ten departure from each port. Senior Vice President Carsten Jensen, Head of DFDS routes in the Channel said, " It has been our plan all along to operate the route with at least two ships in order to be able to deliver a satisfactory service and frequency to our customers. Following a successful start, we are therefore extremely pleased to announce that we have succeeded in securing the Barfleur as the second ship. With two ships, we are able to double our frequency on the route from five daily departures from each port to ten daily departures. In total, there will be 22 daily departures out of Dover and an equal number out of Calais and Dunkerque combined." The vessel has been chartered from Brittany Ferries and will be renamed prior to entry into service. She was built in 1992 and can can carry 1212 passenger, 550 cars and has a freight capacity of 1530 lane metres. She will fly the French flag and be operated by a French crew.
With terminal reconstruction underway on the western route there is space for only two ferries at Lymington. Thus the Light, Sky and Sun, when not in refit, have all spent time on the Wightlink moorings at Portsmouth. This view shows St Faith, Wight Ryder I and Wight Sun at the moorings on 3rd March.
It was said that he is pursuing other career opportunities. For now, two non-executive directors Ken Soar and Jeff Vindampur will run the business until a replacement for Edsall is found. Mr Soar will be running the passenger side of the business and Mr Vindampur the freight side.
The Condor Vitesse making its first 2012 sailing from Poole at 0930 on 19th February during the period when Weymouth sailings were suspended due to defects at the ferry berth. The smart new livery had been applied over the winter to commemorate 25 years of Condor sailings between the UK and Channel Islands.
On the 17th February model Kelly Brook launched the inaugural sailing of a new ferry route for DFDS Seaways and LD Lines between Dover to Calais. Dressed in a sailor’s outfit, Kelly was joined by Carsten Jensen, senior vice-president, DFDS Seaways and Christophe Santoni, managing director, LD Lines to cut the ribbon, cementing the opening of the new route. Champagne corks were popped dockside before the Norman Spirit set sail being accompanied by the Port of Dover tug, firing its water cannon and sounding its horn. The new route will operate up to five times a day, with the first sailings aboard the Norman Spirit. A second ship and additional sailings will be added to the schedule at a later date.
The new ship entered service on the 14th February Dublin to Liverpool. The Power is the second in the series of four new vessels to be deployed on Seatruck's Irish routes and will operate alongside the Seatruck Progress which joined the route last December.
The STENA CALEDONIA shifted from Albert Quay, Belfast this morning 17th February to the former Outfit Quay at Harland and Wolff in Musgrave Channel. The vessel's twin Pielstick engines fired into life one after another after almost 3 idle months shortly after 0900hrs. Under command of Captain John Ferguson and with local tug Farset on standby, the 'Caley' moved off the berth and down the Victoria Channel before turning to starboard into Musgrave Channel where she then swung and headed astern to her new home. This is the almost exact location where, on 25th September 1980, yard number 1717 entered the water for the first time - being the final ship to be launched from H&W's Musgrave Yard and the final passenger vessel built in Belfast. Now, almost thirty-one and-a-half years later, the ship's future at this historically significant location, looks decidedly uncertain.
P&O Ferries’ second new €180 million ship Spirit of France arrived at Dover for the first time today (Saturday 28 January) following a four-day delivery voyage from her construction shipyard at Rauma, Finland. The ship arrived at the port at 11.00hrs and will now start final preparations for entry into service on the Dover – Calais route from Thursday 9 February. She joins her sister ship, Spirit of Britain, on the service. The combined cost of €360 million for the two ships represents the largest investment ever made by P&O Ferries.
P&O Ferries has taken delivery of its second new €180 million ship, Spirit of France, during a handover ceremony at the STX Europe shipyard in Rauma, Finland. Spirit of France then began its 1,400 mile voyage to Dover under the command of Captain Steve Johnson, Senior Master. The estimated time of arrival at Dover is 11.00hrs on Saturday 28 January. Final preparations will then be made for the new ship to take up service on the Dover – Calais route by mid February. At more than 47,000 gross tons and 213 metres in length, Spirit of France, and sister ship Spirit of Britain which began service last year, are the largest ferries ever built for the Dover Strait. The combined cost of €360 million is the largest investment ever made by P&O Ferries. Helen Deeble, chief executive, said: “This investment gives us the finest cross-Channel ferries ever commissioned for the Dover Strait and is a bold statement of our determination to continue to raise the bar in terms of the quality and comfort of ferry travel. I look forward to welcoming customers on board the first sailing of Spirit of France in due course.”
Following the commercial court of Paris deciding to liquidate SeaFrance with immediate effect as from 10th January 2012, DFDS and LD Lines have now stated their intention to operate a new service between Dover and Calais using two ships under the French flag. To open a new route, and provide an attractive service for customers, they aim to hire about 300 staff and expect to be able to start the recruitment process soon. The new route will be operated by vessels currently owned by the joint venture or vessels available on the charter market. Read more about this story in Ferry & Cruise Review Issue 91 published end of January 2012.
The way finally seems clear for Wightlink to provide improved terminal and berthing facilities at Lymington following an eight-day appeal hearing and report on Lymington harbour. Wightlink now plan to construct a new terminal and vehicle ramp for their operations. Read more about this story in Ferry & Cruise Review Issue 91 published end of January 2012.
Although P&O lost out to Northlink when the ferry services to Orkney and Shetland were tendered by the Scottish government in 2002, P&O Ferries have now stated they are out to make a comeback for the services to the Northern Isles. They are one of six companies shortlisted for the new Northern Isles contract which will run for six years from July 2012. Read more about this story in Ferry & Cruise Review Issue 91 published end of January 2012.
The Pride of York and Pride of Hull have recently been re-registered under the flag of Bahamas, a move designed to head-off increased crewing costs from possible changes in UK and EU employment laws. Read more about this story in Ferry & Cruise Review Issue 91 published end of January 2012.
Ferry firm SeaFrance is to shed 127 jobs in Dover after it was liquidated by a French court and told to cease activity. The Tribunal de Commerce decided SeaFrance's future after a bailout by the French government was ruled illegal by the European Commission. The court also said an offer by a cooperative of employees was not acceptable. Hundreds of jobs in France are also expected to be lost. Three ferries were operated by SeaFrance on the Dover to Calais route. The service was suspended in November. Conservative MP for Dover and Deal Charlie Elphicke said: "It is a real concern for the... people in Dover who have worked for SeaFrance and also their families. "This is a difficult day and I think the heart of the whole community goes out to them. There were tears from SeaFrance workers who gathered outside the court in Paris to hear the decision on the firm's future. Many were protesting over the handling of SeaFrance's fate, with one banner questioning why French president, Nikolas Sarkozy had not intervened to save the company. Flares were lit in protest at the company's liquidation. Ferry Publications plan to publish later this year a history on SNCF and SeaFrance and their involvement on the Dover-Calais service. Read more about this story in Ferry & Cruise Review Issue 91 published end of January 2012.
P&O Ferries plan to introduce the Spirit of France on the Dover-Calais service as from 9th February 2012 following delays with the vessel with vibration problems prior to her delivery from the builders. Read more about this story in Ferry & Cruise Review Issue 91 published end of January 2012.