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9 minutes ago, Gareth said:

 I was always under the impression that Newcastle-Ijmuiden was passenger-heavy, freight-light.  Might be wrong.

No you're right although freight has grown to the point where an improvement in vehicle deck height together with say another 500 lane metres would be an advantage in order to stop it effecting passenger traffic. It's true that compared to both Hull and Harwich freight numbers are low but DFDS don't sail to Rotterdam.

Personally I think that considering the route destination and the close proximity to Teesport and the Europoort and that their freight figures are greater than Roscoff and St Malo combined, performance is strong

In terms of passengers a lot of holiday traffic combinations use the route, they're pushing 150,000 pax vehicles a year now plus carrying around 600,000 of us combined with the route length suggests to me that a vessel configured similarly to what BF offer would prove very popular.

 

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All the recent indications are that DFDS are looking to build a pair of bespoke ro-pax ships for the Newcastle-Ijmuiden route. I gather from others here and elsewhere that freight volumes are growing, so more capacity is required in that area. They also appear to have had success in recent years in attracting motorists from the continent, who then take touring holidays to places such as Scotland. It seems there has been at least some effort to diversify the route a bit away from those lovely mini-cruise passengers (important though they clearly are) so perhaps if they can design a ro-pax vessel with the right balance of capacity & facilities, it could satisfy all demographics.

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Yeah the North coast 500 is generating a lot of interest on the continent, would be great to see 2 new ships on the route regardless of their configuration, will be interesting to see when or if they are built and where , most probably China!

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On 29/11/2018 at 09:31, Ryan_H said:

All the recent indications are that DFDS are looking to build a pair of bespoke ro-pax ships for the Newcastle-Ijmuiden route. I gather from others here and elsewhere that freight volumes are growing, so more capacity is required in that area. They also appear to have had success in recent years in attracting motorists from the continent, who then take touring holidays to places such as Scotland. It seems there has been at least some effort to diversify the route a bit away from those lovely mini-cruise passengers (important though they clearly are) so perhaps if they can design a ro-pax vessel with the right balance of capacity & facilities, it could satisfy all demographics.

What are these indications if you mind me asking? Don't want another new build with a huge parking space over handing the stern!

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That’s the way it’s going I’m afraid... the days of the traditional “cruise ferry” are over largely. Pont-Aven was one of the last on these shores, although in the Baltic where it’s a completely different market you have Tallink’s recent new builds, Color Line’s two Kiel-Oslo behemoths which are much more like Royal Caribbean cruise ships than any ferry, and the amazing Viking Grace and her new sister (being built in China).

The days of seeing tonnage move from the Baltic as it did regularly are gone too. Silja Serenade and Symphony have been around for about 28 years which up until their launch was unheard of. The Western European market is so dominated by freight as the year round revenue stream the Baltic ships are just unsuitable. In the Baltic it’s mini cruises which are all year round and are big business bolstered by duty free.

For a cruise ferry with freight capacity, a recent good example without too much stern superstructure shortening is Piana down in the Med, although WB Yeats doesn’t look too far removed from a cruise ferry, the open stern gives its true configuration away though.

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4 hours ago, Le Quiberon said:

What are these indications if you mind me asking? Don't want another new build with a huge parking space over handing the stern!

Well admittedly they are rumours but it's been reported in a few places by those in 'in the know' that DFDS are actively talking to shipyards about building a pair of ships for this route. 

Also it seems that one of the outcomes from DFDS' 'project starlight' is that the Newcastle-Ijmuiden service will in future come under their 'transport' divsion, along with the Dover routes; this seems to imply a move towards ro-pax vessels in the future. However, until there's an announcement this is all speculation of course, especially in these uncertain times. 

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Passenger AND freight demand are by high on the Newcastle - Ijmuiden route, and so DFDS really need the existing passenger facilities and more vehicle deck space for accompanied freight.  Based on the Hull, killingholme and Harwich freight routes there is surely huge demand for driver accompanied space that isn’t served by DFDS roro ports.  Newcastle is key to that equation and more vehicle deck space is desirable.  Due to the nature of the route anything other than sister-ships or close matches simply won’t work, the passenger business is based around a consistent offer on both vessels.

According to a post on the Ferries of Northern Europe yahoo group earlier this year, DFDS are actively designing new bespoke tonnage for the route.  As they are starting from scratch it’ll likely be at least 2021 before we see any new tonnage, hence the recent refits to the existing pair.  There’s no reason these new vessels couldn’t be particularly well appointed Ropax’s though - STENA HOLLANDICA and STENA BRITANNICA are of course Ropax’s for example, and few would criticise their passenger facilities. @tarbyonline

Edited by neilcvx

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Neil’s right... you cannot criticise Hollandica and Britannica and not anything else, probably the two best ferries sailing out of the UK right now. Cabins, and number of them for passenger capacity, knocks the socks off most BF ships, leaving some of the older ones looking distinctly vintage (Bretagne springs to mind). Stena really are very good a building, refurbishing, maintaining and operating ferries.

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3 hours ago, Seashore said:

you cannot criticise Hollandica and Britannica

 

4 hours ago, Seashore said:

That’s the way it’s going I’m afraid... the days of the traditional “cruise ferry” are over largely. Pont-Aven was one of the last on these shores, although in the Baltic where it’s a completely different market you have Tallink’s recent new builds, Color Line’s two Kiel-Oslo behemoths which are much more like Royal Caribbean cruise ships than any ferry, and the amazing Viking Grace and her new sister (being built in China).

The days of seeing tonnage move from the Baltic as it did regularly are gone too. Silja Serenade and Symphony have been around for about 28 years which up until their launch was unheard of. The Western European market is so dominated by freight as the year round revenue stream the Baltic ships are just unsuitable. In the Baltic it’s mini cruises which are all year round and are big business bolstered by duty free.

For a cruise ferry with freight capacity, a recent good example without too much stern superstructure shortening is Piana down in the Med, although WB Yeats doesn’t look too far removed from a cruise ferry, the open stern gives its true configuration away though.

Yes... and Tallink needed more cruise space hence the reason the brought Europa back and spent €16 million on her.

I'm not a lover of the Harwich twins, I find them both cramped and noisy but they're ideal for what they were built for, shifting large amounts of freight.

I suggested vessels similar to Mont St Michel as it would give the route a good uplift in freight, a comfy 14 hour cruise ferry experience for passengers whilst still being able to fit into both berths.

As I've mentioned before though, Ijmuiden is not built to handle any substantial increase in freight, It's Amsterdam, not Rotterdam.

Edited by jonno

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18 hours ago, neilcvx said:

Personal taste but I think the new Visborg is a good looking ship inside and out.

 

GSI are building something similar for Algerie Ferries, handsome ships.

I'm confused (not hard!) Visborg was launched 2 years ago, the latest incarnation for Gotland is the Thjelvar, launched last year. Are they just getting around to naming her?

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I'd be surprised if Visborg or Thjelvar were the final names for these two - they tend to be holding or secondary names and will probably become Visby and Gotland when they get to Sweden (although it is a bit strange to have a formal naming ceremony).

They are monstrously late but I think Destination Gotland were so ecstatic with the price that they factored potential late delivery into their thinking - their existing pair of ro-paxes can carry on as is for a long while yet if needed (and there has been no report of a sale being firmed up for them).

GSI are also churning out the Algerie Ferries one, two for DFDS plus four for Moby and GNV which appear to be super-secret as there hasn't even been a concept image of them out there as far as I can tell. Algerie Ferries hopefully have got some experienced project managers in place as they don't have the same sort of experience in this field as other operators and nor do they necessarily have the same sort of operational flexibility as the intent is/was that this ship shuffles their fleet, creates a reserve/seasonal ship in the form of the Tariq Ibn Ziyad and means they don't have to keep chartering the Elyros every summer.

Here's Visborg out and about - her funnel became red in the end after months of teasing she might break with tradition :) The 'G' looks a bit puny though.

 

 

Edited by hhvferry

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1 hour ago, hhvferry said:

I'd be surprised if Visborg or Thjelvar were the final names for these two - they tend to be holding or secondary names and will probably become Visby and Gotland when they get to Sweden (although it is a bit strange to have a formal naming ceremony).

They are monstrously late but I think Destination Gotland were so ecstatic with the price that they factored potential late delivery into their thinking - their existing pair of ro-paxes can carry on as is for a long while yet if needed (and there has been no report of a sale being firmed up for them).

GSI are also churning out the Algerie Ferries one, two for DFDS plus four for Moby and GNV which appear to be super-secret as there hasn't even been a concept image of them out there as far as I can tell. Algerie Ferries hopefully have got some experienced project managers in place as they don't have the same sort of experience in this field as other operators and nor do they necessarily have the same sort of operational flexibility as the intent is/was that this ship shuffles their fleet, creates a reserve/seasonal ship in the form of the Tariq Ibn Ziyad and means they don't have to keep chartering the Elyros every summer.

Here's Visborg out and about - her funnel became red in the end after months of teasing she might break with tradition :) The 'G' looks a bit puny though.

 

 

Thanks hhv. Am I right in thinking that Gotland's current ships are quite modern anyway. The only Visby I can remember was the ferry which became Felicity/Stena Felicity. Surely they can't be using her, I think she pre dates Stena Europe?

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1 hour ago, jonno said:

Thanks hhv. Am I right in thinking that Gotland's current ships are quite modern anyway. The only Visby I can remember was the ferry which became Felicity/Stena Felicity. Surely they can't be using her, I think she pre dates Stena Europe? 

Yes the Felicity is now with Ventouris Ferries and runs to Albania where this year she ran in opposition to her sister (see Two Gotlanders in Durres).

The current Visby and Gotland were built, again by GSI (which was considered a very adventurous order at the time) in 2003. The contract was placed in 1999 so the company are familiar with this sort of prolonged process. Back then the new sisters represented a complete and fundamental change in operations from the two existing conventional ships - the comparatively slow ex-Felicity and ex-Sally Star - so it was a juggling act working out when to make the schedule changes they would bring in.

In contrast the pair now building are very similarly sized to the 2003 ships, offering modest increments in pax capacity and lane metres. It's a good guessing game to have where the current pair will end up as they are theoretically attractive to a whole host of operators and should achieve a good price, assuming build quality and mechanical quality are OK for what were effectively reference ships at the time. They'll potentially need a bit of work to make them suitable for most operators as they are unabashed day ships with a handful of cabins and hundreds upon hundreds of reclining seats.

The list price for the 2003 pair was SEK525m each (around USD 75m). It's difficult to compare like with like but I'll do it anyway - Mont St Michel also of 2003 is dimensionally a bit smaller and completed to a much higher standard but her price was about USD 125m, and that at a supposed bargain basement European yard.

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5 hours ago, Tumnus2010 said:

If they're so similar, and the current ones are a good age then what's driving the replacement of them? 

They're 15 years old so not entirely spring chickens - and Gotlandsbolaget/Destination Gotland have received pairs of new car ferries in the 60s, 70s, 80s, 00s and now 2010s (they didn't in the '90s as they lost the Gotland contract 1988-1998) so their time is due if the company continues historical trends.

They probably wouldn't have been so quick however had they not signed up to a new contract from up to 2027 which required reduced emissions and their tender to achieve this was to go down an LNG route; although the new ship was ordered before this contract was signed I imagine the company was under massive political pressure to make a move to reduce Gotland ferry emissions which have apparently trebled since 1990.

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Something interesting may be happening with Freight Capacity.

The 2 new ships built by FSG and chartered to an Italian company are not being deployed on the original route.  (https://www.ferryshippingnews.com/ferry-shipping-week-49-2018/) , the announcement re Alf Pollack says:-

  • Onorato Armatori said in a statement that “the ro-ro market in the Mediterranean is not mature enough to receive such a big ro-ro vessel with a capacity of over 4,000 lane metres”.
  • The charterer will be Cobelfret’s Cldn, which offers regular connections from the European continent to the British Isles, Scandinavia and Spain ,The contract is for one year.

What is strange is that it is going to the med at the moment.

I wonder if this is linked to Brexit planning capacity ?

 

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58 minutes ago, David Williams said:

Something interesting may be happening with Freight Capacity.

The 2 new ships built by FSG and chartered to an Italian company are not being deployed on the original route.  (https://www.ferryshippingnews.com/ferry-shipping-week-49-2018/) , the announcement re Alf Pollack says:-

  • Onorato Armatori said in a statement that “the ro-ro market in the Mediterranean is not mature enough to receive such a big ro-ro vessel with a capacity of over 4,000 lane metres”.
  • The charterer will be Cobelfret’s Cldn, which offers regular connections from the European continent to the British Isles, Scandinavia and Spain ,The contract is for one year.

What is strange is that it is going to the med at the moment.

I wonder if this is linked to Brexit planning capacity ?

The Onorato/Moby group are not exactly flush with cash (hence trying to sell relatively modern ships like the Bithia) so if a good offer comes in for a short-term subcharter I imagine they will go for it. That looks to be what's happened here and may well happen with the second of the newbuilds although it's not clear why the Alf Pollak is heading south in this instance.

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Very intersting. I have been in Malta last week, and there are quite a few RO-Ros operating in and out - the Eurocargo Malta and Eurocargo Genova, for Grimaldi Line, the Barbara Krahulik, and as I flew out the Pauline Russ was in.

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Thanks SSW (and welcome to the site).  What a strange-looking ship!  You have to work quite hard to figure out which end is which! 😄

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3 minutes ago, Gareth said:

Thanks SFW (and welcome to the site).  What a strange-looking ship!  You have to work quite hard to figure out which end is which! 😄

I think it's SSW not SFW, which was a film from my youth staring Christian Slater, and means something rather different. Ed. 😀 

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