It’s lucky that our Passenger Vessel Week features roll around as frequently as they do. There is so much happening in the passenger vessel sector that we could fill one weekly.
Passenger vessels are certainly exciting, imaginative and innovative. Even reprises of old boats like the Russian Kometa 120 hydrofoil ferry that we present this week has a lot to attract the eye. Although the basic design is fifty years old, this new and considerably upgraded model has plenty to inspire interest. When I think of the last Kometa I travelled on, two years ago in northern Greece, they have come a long way. It was probably forty years old and its clapped out engines gave it a “tail dragging” top speed of about 20 knots while spewing out vast amounts of filthy black exhaust smoke. This new one won’t do that.
There is so much variety coming up, from a huge Russian inland waterways cruiser to a rather whimsical-looking little hydrogen-fueled catamaran from Japan. There is a smart, fastish Ro-Pax for Tahiti from Spain’s Armon yard. The only thing I don’t like about it is the bow door, even though it is one of the best I’ve ever seen. It redeems itself with excellent life boat and rescue boat launching facilities among other interesting features.
Ferries • Ro-Pax • Marine Tourism • Cruise • Freshwater
Norway’s Brødrene Aa presents yet another of its highly refined FRP/carbon catamaran ferries and Fincantieri, through its Romanian and Norwegian Vard yards, has a hybrid icebreaking cruise vessel for Ponant. The Spaniards, too, have been very busy and Oliver Design has come up with a brilliant conversion of a ferry into a cruise vessel for Scotland’s Western Isles.
Meanwhile, the high speed grounding of the 49-metre Kvaerner Fjellstrand Ro-Pax ferry San Gwann near Ibiza in Spain last week should remind us of safety considerations. As I have commented so many times before, my extensive research shows conclusively that these fast aluminium catamarans are the safest passenger-carrying craft around. Despite “hitting the bricks” at speed due to obvious operator error, none of the 47 people on board were seriously injured. Indeed, only 25 passengers were injured at all. This is testament to the stability and near unsinkability of catamarans combined with the cushioning “crumpability” of their aluminium construction. It is frightening to imagine what could have happened had San Gwann been a steel monohull.
There is all this and much more coming up through this week on Baird Maritime. Don’t miss it!
- HydroBingo – World’s first hydrogen ferry starts operating in Japan
- Côte D’Opale – New 215m Ro-Pax for DFDS’ Dover-Calais route
- Mustai Karim – Sea and river capable newbuild to serve Moscow cruise market
- Le Commandant Charcot – Hybrid LNG/electric exploration ship for Ponant Cruises
- New fleet of all-electric commuter ferries for Metro Bangkok area
- Terevau Piti – Spanish-built day ferry delivered to French Polynesia’s SNGV2
- Chaika & Yalta – First two units in new Russian-built hydrofoil ferry series
- Fredrikke Tønder-Olsen – Fast catamaran shuttle enters service with Nordland Fylkeskommune
Features and Opinion:
– “Originally designed to transport 700 passengers on short sailings between Turkey and Greece, the ferry has now been converted to accommodate up to 50 guests on one-week itineraries in Scotland’s lochs, canals, and inter-island routes.”
– “The tests utilised the 11,410GT ferry Sunflower Shiretoko, thus validating the compatibility of the system with large vessels.”
News, Book Reviews and Gear:
- AIDA Cruises sets 2030 debut for first zero-emission ship
- TT-Line, Port of Trelleborg ink 10-year agreement
- Sea trials completed for Lindblad Expeditions’ newest ship
- Carnival Cruise Line ship to support Hurricane Ida recovery effort in Louisiana
- Sea Cloud Cruises names newest ship
- Russian yard starts building new ferry for Baltiysk-Vistula route
- DFDS to introduce first low-carbon vessel by 2025
- Edinburgh charity unveils new canal charter boat
- US Coast Guard implements underway safety initiative for small passenger vessels operating in California waters
- Taesung Marine Transport’s newest ferry to be built in Australia
- Panama Canal publishes proposal to modify tolls structure for passenger ships
- Construction starts on Princess Cruises’ Sphere-class LNG-fueled ships
- AmaWaterways christens newest river cruise ship
- Ferry grounding leaves 25 injured in Ibiza, Spain
- 23 dead, several others missing after ferry collides with fishing boat in eastern Bangladesh
- Additional ferry berths completed at Philippines’ Siquijor Port
- Vancouver Island ferry company sold to new owners
Recent Important Features:
– “It is the acute and urgent changes to the economic ecosystem of the cruise business that will mean, by 2030, cruising will be unrecognisable from the industry that set sail at the start of the decade.”
– by Nick Savvides, maritime industry news correspondent
– “Even worse, with the simultaneous development of appropriate electric propulsion systems, the fuel cost differential between the environmentally clean, Incat-proposed, electric-powered ships and the comparatively dirty, gas-guzzling Finnish ferries will be simply astounding.”
– by Neil Baird, Co-Founder and former Editor-in-Chief of Baird Maritime
– “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
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 September 10), 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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