Welcome to Passenger Vessel Week!

Welcome to Passenger Vessel Week!


Despite the ongoing pandemic and the trail of fatalities that continues to blight ferry operations in certain developing countries, people, both rich and poor, want or need to travel by ferry, cruise ship or tourist boat. Thus, there appears to be an almost endless demand for passenger vessels of all shapes, sizes and types. Certainly, the pages of Baird Maritime are, and always have been, replete with them.

This week we present a wide range from a tiny, so-called “hybrid” Indian water taxi from Kerala to two cruise ships, small and medium sized, from yards in Ancona and Split, on either side of the Adriatic sea. There are also a German-built ice-class expedition yacht for a US operator, as well as the largest ship ever built by an Italian yard.

Cruise ships may be cruise ships but the two presented here are quite different. One, built by Brodosplit in Croatia, is comparatively small, carrying 200 passengers, and designed especially for Arctic and Antarctic “expeditioning”. The other, built by Fincantieri, is described as “small” but twenty years ago, with 930-pax, would have been described as at least “medium”. It will have a more general cruising role.

Each of these vessels, as is the norm these days, is described as being “environmentally friendly”. Despite their common use of internal combustion, hydrocarbon fuelled, engines, such expressions are de rigeur these days and insisted upon by ship owner PR departments or consultants. Why can’t they just be realistic and honest?

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

Anyway, for their various and distinctive roles, all three vessels appear to be practical approaches. They will undoubtedly serve their private and government owners well. So, too, will the other passenger vessels that will materialise and be revealed during PV Week.

Passenger vessels have always fascinated me and I have travelled on, probably, many more than a thousand of them. I have my favourites, of course, but I like to see, study and try out as many of them, particularly new or re-purposed, ones, as I can.

They constantly exhibit innovation and inventiveness in so many aspects of their design, construction and equipment that is difficult for governments and, even, the classification societies, to keep up with them. The passenger sector is arguably more imaginative and forward thinking than any other in the maritime business. While passengers are often described as a “commodity”, they are a rather more fussy, discerning and particular commodity than lumps of iron ore or coal or, even, containers. Thus passenger vessel owners have to keep improving their offerings.

This week, readers of Baird Maritime will be able to read all about and keep up with the latest offerings to and by the passenger vessel sector.

Vessel Reviews:

Features and Opinion:

COLUMN | Shipbuilding in Australia: why would you do it? [The Boroscope]

– “In a world in which Australia is increasingly becoming isolated, we are dependent on almost everything from overseas.”

– by Kent Stewart, founder of maritime consultancy Maritime Engineers and Baird Maritime‘s resident expert on commercial shipping and the offshore industries

News, Gear, and Book Reviews:

Recent Important Features:

FEATURE | IMO environment committee approves new GHG emission reduction measures for shipping

– “Currently the IMO member states seem to favour ‘soft implementation’, but how individual states enforce the approach is as yet unknown.”

– by Johan Roos, Director of Regulatory Affairs for worldwide ferry industry association Interferry

FEATURE | The ROBOSHIP project: a new autonomous navigation system under development in Japan

– “The system, which was tested on a catamaran tour boat owned by local operator Tokyo Cruise Ship Company, has been designed to perform functions including route planning, course control, speed control, and collision avoidance.”

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 July 9), 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

Stay updated on future Passenger Vessel Weeks

Sign up here to be notified in advance about future Passenger Vessel Weeks.


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.