Marine Link
Thursday, March 23, 2017

Steel Cut for First Virgin Voyages Cruise Ship

Photo: Fincantieri

A steel cutting ceremony has signaled the start of construction for the first of three new cruise ships for the Virgin Group’s new cruise line, Virgin Voyages. The three new ships are being built by Fincantieri at its shipyard in Genoa, Italy for scheduled deliveries in 2020, 2021 and 2022 respectively. The combined order value is about 2 billion euros. Each ship will weigh about 110,000 gross tons, be 278 meters long and 38 wide. The ships will feature over 1,400 guest cabins that can host more than 2,700 passengers, accompanied by 1,150 crew members on board.

Working Together No Trial

Leading Seaman Aviation Support Benjamin King directs an Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter, ARH Tiger, as it takes off from HMAS Canberra's flight deck. Photo: Royal Australian Navy.

First of class flight trials onboard HMAS Canberra have truly been a tri-service affair with Army test pilots, Navy flight test engineers and Air Force technicians all working on the task. Canberra’s Commander Air, Commander Adrian Capner said that military aviation was increasingly becoming a whole-of-Defence endeavour. “This ship is indicative of that with our Air Force Joint Battlespace Air Controllers, our Army operations personnel and Army embarked assets,” Commander Capner said.

Hapag-Lloyd, Inmarsat Ink Fleet Xpress Deal

Image: Inmarsat

Global mobile satellite communications services provider Inmarsat has signed a five-year contract with Hapag-Lloyd to migrate all ships directly managed by the shipping line to services enabled for Fleet Xpress. Hapag-Lloyd, the sixth largest container shipping operator in the world by Twenty Foot Equivalent Unit (TEU) capacity, will transition all existing ships that it manages in-house from Inmarsat FleetBroadband services to Fleet Xpress. The agreement also covers five 10,500 TEU vessels as latest new builds.

Trump's Navy: A Look at the Future US Navy

President Donald J. Trump speaks with Sailors in the hangar bay aboard Pre-Commissioning Unit Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78). Trump visited to meet with Sailors and shipbuilders of the Navy’s first-in-class aircraft carrier during an all-hands call inside the ship’s hangar bay. (U.S. Navy photo by Joshua Sheppard)

It’s still too early to know for certain what the new administration will do about building up the U.S. Navy, as the numbers are a moving target. But with President Trump’s recent pledge to add $54 billion to defense spending, it’s a safe bet to make that the fleet will grow. So let’s start with the numbers. There are different ways to count the fleet size, including whether or not you count auxiliaries, but let’s use this number as the baseline: There are 274 ships in the U.S. Navy now.

Jones Act LNG-powered ConRo Ship Launched

El Coquí launched at the VT Halter Marine shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss. (Photo: Crowley)

Crowley Maritime Corp.’s newest combination container/Roll on-Roll off (ConRo) ship has been launched at the VT Halter Marine shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss. for the Crowley’s service between Jacksonville, Fla., and San Juan, Puerto Rico. Named El Coquí after a beloved frog native to Puerto Rico, the ConRo is one of the world’s first to be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG). The ship will now proceed through the final topside construction and testing phase before beginning service in the U.S. Jones Act trade during the second half of 2017.

Shipping Confidence Steady despite Industry, Political Pressures

© Federico Rostagno / Adobe Stock

Shipping confidence held steady in the three months to end-February 2017, according to the latest Shipping Confidence Survey from international accountant and shipping adviser Moore Stephens. In February 2017, the average confidence level expressed by respondents was 5.6 out of 10, unchanged from the previous survey in November 2016 and equal to the highest rating since August 2015. Owners were the only main category to show an improved level of confidence, up from 5.4 to 5.6.

Marshall Islands Registry is "Number Two"

The Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) fleet now stands at 223,262,177 deadweight tons (DWT), making it the second largest registry in the world in terms of DWT. International Registries, Inc. and its affiliates (IRI) have provided administrative and technical support to the RMI Registry since 1990. "This is a very significant milestone for the RMI Registry," said Bill Gallagher, President, IRI. "A strong legislative framework, customer driven service ethos, and a commitment to quality have all been key to our continued success," he continued. The RMI is not only the world's second largest registry, but the Greek shipping industry's leading flag as well.

Royal Australian Navy Conscripts MAN

Photo courtesy of RAN

Navantia, the major Spanish shipbuilder, has chosen MAN main and GenSet engines to power two fleet-support-tanker newbuildings it is currently constructing for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). Each vessel will feature 2 × MAN 18V 32/40 main engines and 4 × MAN 7L21/31 GenSets with shipset deliveries scheduled for December 2017 and June 2018, respectively. Lex Nijsen – Head of Four-Stroke Marine – MAN Diesel & Turbo, said: “We are currently receiving a lot of enquiries within the Navy and Governmental segment for MAN engines and…

GE Shipping Buys New Vessel

Photo: The Great Eastern Shipping Co. Ltd

The Great Eastern Shipping Company Limited (G E Shipping) signed a contract to buy a Supramax Dry Bulk Carrier of about 52,450 dwt. The 2006 built vessel is expected to join the Company’s fleet in Q1 FY18. The Company’s current fleet stands at 43 vessels, comprising 28 tankers (11 crude carriers, 15 product tankers, 2 LPG carrier) and 15 dry bulk carriers (1 Capesize, 8 Kamsarmax, 6 Supramax) with an average age of 9.56 years aggregating 3.54 mn dwt. The company has also committed to purchase 1 Secondhand Suezmax Crude Carrier.

Cruise Ship Passenger Missing off Cuba

U.S. and Cuban emergency responders are searching for an overboard passenger who reportedly fell from the eighth deck of a cruise ship roughly 30 miles off the coast of Cuba.   Missing is 23-year-old Florida resident Brandon Paul, who is said to have went overboard from the Carnival Victory cruise ship Wednesday at approximately 3 a.m.   The cruise ship launched a search boat and continues to search on scene some 33 miles northwest of Pinar Del Rio, Cuba.   The U.S. Coast Guard has sent an airplane crew and the Coast Guard Cutter Charles Sexton to assist in the search, while Cuban search and rescue authorities have also launched assets to assist in the search efforts.

BAE Systems to Modernize Cruiser USS Vicksburg

Photo: BAE Systems

BAE Systems will perform ship alternations and miscellaneous repairs aboard the 567-foot-long USS Vicksburg (CG 69) under a $42.9 million U.S. Navy contract. The value of the competitively awarded contract could reach $45.9 million if all options are exercised. Under the special selected restricted availability (SSRA) contract, BAE Systems will perform ship alternations and miscellaneous repairs aboard the 567-foot-long ship, including the replacement of critical aluminum structures.

Pirates Demand Ransom for Tanker Seized off Somalia

Pirates off the coast of Somalia, who hijacked an oil tanker with eight Sri Lankan crew on board, are demanding a ransom for the release of the vessel, the EU Naval Force said. The pirates seized the Comoros-flagged Aris 13 tanker on Monday, the first such hijacking in the region since 2012, and took it to the port of Alula in the semi-autonomous northern region of Puntland. "The EU Naval Force ... has received positive confirmation from the master of ... Aris 13, that his ship and crew are currently being held captive by a number of suspected armed pirates in an anchorage off the north coast of Puntland, close to Alula," the force said in a statement late on Tuesday.

Container Shippers Ordered to Testify in US Investigation

File photo: Hapag-Lloyd

The U.S. Justice Department has ordered top executives from several container shipping lines to testify in an antitrust investigation into an industry that is the backbone of global trade, the companies said on Wednesday. The world's biggest container shipper, Denmark's A.P. Moller-Maersk, Germany's Hapag Lloyd, Taiwan-based Evergreen, Hong Kong-based Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) said their executives were among those who had been subpoenaed. The United States is concerned that the proposed alliances of several major companies…

Marlink Acquires IT Management Partner Palantir

Marlink has acquired Palantir AS, a Norway-based maritime IT company specializing in remote IT management solutions. The Share Purchase Agreement whereby Marlink acquired 100 percent of Palantir AS shares was completed on March 17, 2017. Palantir provides IT managers on shore with access to individual vessels or entire fleets for remote support and management of on board IT networks. Marlink and Palantir already collaboratep through a strategic partnership agreement started in September 2014, which has enabled Marlink to deliver integrated IT management services to its Sealink multi-band communications service customers, including Stolt Tankers and CMA CGM.

SM Group Mulls More Takeovers

Photo: SM Line Corp

South Korea’s Samra Midas Group (SM Group) said that it is looking to acquire some overseas shippers, among other businesses in an effort to expand its foothold in the maritime sector, Yonhap News Agency cited one of the company’s officials. SM Group, which was picked as the preferred bidder for STX Corp., a general trading company, last week, also purchased the now-defunct Hanjin Shipping Co.'s U.S.-Asia route and other assets for 37 billion won (US$32 million) late last year. SM Group plans to pour 130 billion won ($115 million) into STX.

Ship Systems and Equipment Meeting Underway

Photo: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

The first set of international requirements for onboard lifting appliances and winches are expected to be finalized during this week’s meeting of the Sub-Committee on Ship Systems and Equipment (SSE). The draft amendments to SOLAS as well as any necessary related guidelines will be submitted to the Maritime Safety committee (MSC) in June for consideration. Also set for completion are draft amendments to the 2009 Mobile Offshore Drilling Units (MODU) Code, covering machinery and electrical installations in hazardous areas, fire safety, and life-saving appliances and equipment.

Somali Pirates Hijack First Ship since 2012

Pirates have hijacked an oil tanker with eight Sri Lankan crew on board, Somali authorities said on Tuesday, the first time a commercial ship has been seized in the region since 2012. Security forces have been sent to free the Aris 13, a regional police official said late on Tuesday. "We are determined to rescue the ship and its crew. Our forces have set off to Alula. It is our duty to rescue ships hijacked by pirates and we shall rescue it," Abdirahman Mohamud Hassan, director general of Puntland’s marine police forces, told Reuters by phone. Puntland is a semi-autonomous northern region of Somalia. Alula is a port town there where pirates have taken the tanker. Experts said the ship was an easy target and ship owners were becoming lax after a long period of calm.

USCGC Kimball Christened; GE Marine Gas Turbines Provide Power

Kimball at christening (Photo: GE Marine)

The U.S. Coast Guard’s seventh new National Security Cutter, Kimball (WMSL 756), was christened on March 4. The ceremony was held at Huntington Ingalls Industries' Ingalls Shipbuilding division in Pascagoula, Miss. According to HII, Kimball is the third ship named in honor of Sumner I. Kimball. The first Kimball (WSC/WMEC-143) was commissioned in 1927, and was eventually decommissioned in 1968. The second ship to bear the name was SS Sumner I. Kimball (EC2-S-C1); it was torpedoed and sank by the Nazi submarine U-960 with the loss of 64 American lives.

PensionDanmark, Danica Roll Out $300mln Maritime Investment Fund

Photo: PensionDanmark A/S

PensionDanmark, Danica and Navigare Capital Partners have established the Maritime Investment Fund I, which, based on capital from the founders, shall build a diversified portfolio of maritime assets including dry bulk, container, offshore, product, crude oil and chemical tankers, to put on charter to operators. The fund will be managed by Navigare Capital Partners, which consists of partners with broad based shipping experience. ”The new investment fund will give institutional investors a possibility to invest in a broad portfolio of vessels.

Tauck to Double Small Ship Cruising Capacity

Tauck announced a four-year plan for doubling its small ship cruising capacity through strategic fleet expansion, deepened partnership programs and new itineraries. “We’re destination explorers at Tauck and some destinations are best explored by both land and sea,” said Jennifer Tombaugh, president of Tauck. “Tauck Small Ship Cruising is our first product line to sell out each year. Ponant, the French-owned cruise line, will debut four new luxury expedition yachts in 2018 and 2019. As part of an expanded partnership, Tauck will leverage all four Ponant new builds starting with Le Lapérouse in summer 2018. The first Tauck sailing on Le Lapérouse departs on July 3, 2018 with the “Iceland: Land of Fire & Ice” itinerary.

India to be Global Hotspot for Cruise Shipping

Photo: Nitin Gadkari, Official FB Page

The government of India is working on a policy to make India a global destination for cruise shipping and efforts are on to identify such circuits, besides a slew of steps, to boost infrastructure, Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari has said. According to a report by Press Trust of India, a high-level task force has been appointed and top global consultants are drawing up blueprint for it. Five circuits each are being identified for international and domestic cruise services and a report is likely by May this year.

Denmark Studies Autonomous Shipping

In the future, autonomous ships may have a central role to play in Denmark. A pre-analysis made by the Danish Technological University (DTU) and the Danish Maritime Authority points to the need to develop technological solutions. As the entire transport sector vigorously strives to develop autonomous solutions, many developments have come a long way, especially for cars and trucks. The shipping industry too will see more new autonomous technology solutions, just as drone technology will become more widespread. The Danish Maritime Authority has therefore cooperated with the DTU to consider the development potential of autonomous ships in more detail. “Blue Denmark must – just as the rest of the Danish business sector – be frontrunners within technological developments.

Somali Force, Pirates Exchange Gunfire

Somali maritime forces have exchanged gunfire with the hijackers of an oil tanker in the semi-autonomous region of Puntland, the head of the maritime force said. This is the first time Somali pirates have taken over a commercial ship since 2012 and locals blame the attack on foreign fishermen flooding into their waters, and are also angry with their government for licensing some of the ships. "We tried to intercept a boat that was carrying supplies to the pirates, but pirates on the ship fired on us and so the pirate boat escaped," said Abdirahman Mohamud Hassan, the director general of the maritime force in Puntland. Pirate Abdulaahi claimed the pirates killed a member of the marine force and injured another, but Hassan said that was untrue.

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Mar 2017 - The Green Marine Technology Edition

Maritime Reporter and Engineering News’ first edition was published in New York City in 1883 and became our flagship publication in 1939. It is the world’s largest audited circulation magazine serving the global maritime industry, delivering more insightful editorial and news to more industry decision makers than any other source.

Subscribe
Maritime Reporter E-News subscription

Maritime Reporter E-News is the subsea industry's largest circulation and most authoritative ENews Service, delivered to your Email three times per week

Subscribe for Maritime Reporter E-News