Welcome to Passenger Vessel Week!

Welcome to Passenger Vessel Week!


Given the global ravages of Covid-19, it could well be expected that the passenger vessel sector would be very subdued, if not completely dead at present. Not so, thankfully. In fact, the sector is very much alive despite the virus.

While almost all the vessels described in this Passenger Vessel Week feature would have been ordered before the pandemic blighted our lives, we know that there are plenty more to come. Indeed, all the passenger vessel designers and builders I have spoken with recently are very busy. They mostly have plenty of orders. Their biggest problem seems to be in securing sufficient qualified workers to build them.

It has been very interesting to look at the vessels we have featured this week. I trust you find them just as interesting. As usual, we have a wide variety of sizes, types, roles, construction materials, engines and propulsion systems, and geographic locations of designers, builders and owners. As with most things maritime and most vessel types, the passenger vessel sector is a very exciting global business.

Ferries • Ro-Pax • Marine Tourism • Cruise • Freshwater

We have anything from 11.5-metre water taxis up to 36,000GT Ro-Pax ferries and including hybrid, pure “plug-in” electric to traditional diesels with stern drives, ordinary propellers and waterjet propulsion through to Voith “rudder propellers.” It is a great cross-section of the types and sizes of vessels and the power and propulsion systems available to them.

There are multi-hulls, mono-hulls and scows. You name it, we have them here! We even review a 45-year-old Italian wooden tourist boat that has been extensively re-built and modernised. The new vessels are operating anywhere from the bleak west coast of Scotland to Norway’s fjords to Japan’s inland sea and just about every other imaginable place between and beyond.

There are water taxis, tourist vessels, Ro-Pax ferries, and modern but traditional-looking vessels. They operate on rivers, lakes, coastal waters and the open ocean. They are fast and slow. This simply shows the wide range of requirements for passenger vessels and the solutions available from their designers, builders and equipment suppliers.

I trust you find them as interesting, innovative and inspiring as I have.

Vessel Reviews:

Features and Opinion:

FEATURE | Amsterdam to receive MIT-developed unmanned water taxis

– “The leader initiates movement to the destination, and then the other unmanned boats can estimate the intention of the leader, and align their movements accordingly.”

News, Gear and Book Reviews:

Recent Important Features:

OPINION | Join Interferry’s call for sector-specific GHG requirements on existing ships

– “European survey suggests that proposed greenhouse gas regulations could reduce global ferry passenger and freight capacity by more than 50 per cent as early as 2023.”

– by Mike Corrigan, CEO of Interferry

INTERVIEW | Damen develops innovative add-on technology to reduce hull resistance

– “An advantage of DACS is that it can be relatively easily installed on existing vessels…”

– by Nelson Dela Cruz, Baird Maritime correspondent

FEATURE | The resilience of ferries in the time of pandemic

– “…as predicted, ferries have proven to be the safest and most popular travel mode during the pandemic.”

– by Mike Corrigan, CEO of Interferry

INTERVIEW | Fire Island Ferries’ Tim Mooney discusses proper planning, reacting promptly to situations

– “A lot of these things were new to everyone, not just the ferry industry, so it was sort of an ‘on the job training’ for us…”

INTERVIEW | DFDS’ Torben Carlsen on keeping safe, staying afloat through challenging times

– “…I think our decision to focus on keeping our people safe and on delivering essential services enabled us to form a picture of how our company would look like once the crisis is over…”

FEATURE | Damen completes repair project on Rederij Doeksen ferry

– At the yard, Damen Shiprepair Harlingen carried out a series of works on the vessel, including the removal of the main and auxiliary engines, the gearboxes, and all electrical equipment and wiring – of which there is over four kilometres

Remember to come back every day to see the latest news, opinion and vessel reviews!

Call for content!

Any news or views about the global maritime tourism, ferry and cruise industries? Send it through to [email protected] ASAP (between now and October 30), so we can add it to this current edition of Passenger Vessel Week!

We are after:

  • Vessels – Orders, new deliveries, under construction
  • Gear – Latest innovations and technology in the passenger vessel sector
  • Interviews – Owners, operators, terminal authorities, passenger vessel associations etc.
  • Reminiscences – Do you have any exciting, amusing or downright dangerous anecdotes from your time in the passenger vessel world? (example here)
  • Other – Any other relevant news

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Neil Baird

Co-founder and former Editor-in-Chief of Baird Maritime and Work Boat World magazine, Neil has travelled the length and breadth of this planet in over 40 years in the business. He knows the global work boat industry better than anyone.