Welcome to Passenger Vessel Week!

Welcome to Passenger Vessel Week!

An all-electric waterbus built by Damen for Arriva Danmark (Photo: Damen)

Passenger Vessel Week, or should that be “Low Emission Vessel Week”? It seems that this week’s offerings are mostly electric or, at least, hybrid or LNG powered. It is certainly a strong trend, especially for short run ferries and harbour craft. The trend to electric will probably, at least in the shorter term, be restricted to countries having plentiful renewable or non-polluting nuclear powered electricity. It all seems rather pointless where electricity is generated using coal, heavy oil or even LNG.

It is, therefore, probably no accident that several of the ferries reviewed this week are for hydro- and nuclear-powered Norway. Equally, it will be no accident that the new ferry for the Netherlands is LNG-fuelled. The news that really astounds, though, is that of the Thai billionaire owner of Energy Absolute who is planning to build a fleet of 24 electric powered aluminium catamaran ferries for the Chao Phraya river in Bangkok. Watch out Chao Phraya Express Boat Co! Thailand’s electricity, though, is 65 per cent generated using LNG and 20 per cent from coal. Perhaps he knows something we don’t…

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

Nevertheless, low emission ferries are certainly dominating the news this week. So, too, are catamarans. Catamarans are a good idea everywhere for reasons of both safety and reduced resistance which, in turn, offers improved fuel consumption.

Lower emissions are desirable everywhere as is reduced consumption of energy of whatever kind. Aluminium or FRP construction means lighter weight vessels. That, again, leads to less fuel consumption.

While pure electric power seems destined only for countries having plentiful low- or no-emission electricity generation, all the other qualities described in the previous paragraph are achievable and desirable everywhere.

Vessel Reviews:

Features and Opinion:

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.

News, Gear and Book Reviews:

Recent Important Features:

EDITORIAL | Sydney Ferries passengers risk physical decapitation; NSW taxpayers will be financially decapitated

– “Why was the largest ship builder in NSW, which could easily have successfully completed the project, not so much as contacted?”

by Neil Baird, co-founder, Baird Maritime

EDITORIAL | Brilliant opportunity presented with Tasmanian ferry decision

– “Tasmania has a wonderful opportunity to introduce a world leading service on this very popular route and, at the same time, to show off a world-leading local product.”

by Neil Baird, co-founder, Baird Maritime

FEATURE | Safety considerations for Australia’s Northern Territory guided fishing industry association

– “However iconic, laid back, and beautiful the Northern Territory may be, local guided fishing operators understand well that they can’t afford to take a laid-back attitude to safety.”

by Becca Posterino and Sarah Cameron

FEATURE | Can the cruise industry be saved?

– “…there’s no more compelling time for the cruise industry to examine every aspect of its business.”

by Michael Shapiro

COLUMN | Improving ferry safety in Southeast Asia [The Wet Detective]

– “Having a highly visible ‘seal of approval’ and score would be a move in the right direction.”

by Mike Wall, marine surveyor and consultant

COLUMN | After Covid-19 – it’s anyone’s guess [Grey Power]

“Will people still go cheerfully jetting off to join their cruises all around the world, at least until there are vaccines that have proved to work?”

– by Michael Grey, former long-term editor of Lloyds List

FEATURE | Flags of convenience and the coronavirus cruise ship debacle

– “The pandemic has shown that cruise shipping is essentially an unregulated industry that has thrived in an environment lacking rules. Will Covid-19 change that?”

– by David Millar, Australian Strategic Policy Institute

COLUMN | International Safety Management Code failures [The Wet Detective]

– “What is the verdict thirty years on? It appears that those who don’t need the ISM system are applying it diligently whilst those that need it are only paying lip service to it, but the jury is still out…”

– by Mike Wall, marine surveyor and consultant

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 4), 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.