Car Ferry News

18 Feb 2019

Inside the World's Top Ferry Lines

Staten Island Ferries, NYC. Photo Credit: Greg Trauthwein

The ferry business, unlike more industrial parts of the shipping business, touches wide swaths of the world’s population across continents. The membership of Interferry, the leading trade group for the industry, with non-Governmental organization (NGO) status at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) includes 200+ members from all parts of the ferry spectrum. These include passenger ferries (including fast ferries), Ro/Pax and cruise ferries operating globally. In selecting “the best” we looked beyond the league tables of “the most” (passengers) and “the biggest” (fleet size).

07 Feb 2019

"Saint John Paul II" Delivered to Virtu Ferries

Photo: Incat

Incat delivered its latest large fast ferry, a 110-meter catamaran for Virtu Ferries of Malta dubbed Saint John Paul II.Saint John Paul II is the 44th large commercial fast ferry delivered by Incat and the sixth in excess of 5,500gt in the past decade; a decade also shared with 19 other Incat newbuilds of smaller passenger ferries and support vessels.“Using the latest computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and hydrodynamic free-running model test techniques, the well proven Incat Wave Piercing Catamaran hullform has been further developed for Mediterranean winter conditions…

03 Dec 2018

Rolls-Royce, Finferries Demonstrate First Fully Autonomous Ferry

Falco (Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce)

Rolls-Royce and Finnish state-owned ferry operator Finferries have successfully demonstrated the world’s first fully autonomous ferry in the archipelago south of the city of Turku, Finland.The car ferry Falco, used a combination of Rolls-Royce Ship Intelligence technologies to successfully navigate autonomously during its voyage between Parainen and Nauvo. The return journey was conducted under remote control.During the demonstration, the Falco, with 80 invited VIP guests aboard, conducted the voyage under fully autonomous control.

30 Oct 2018

Sembcorp Marine Bags Offshore Wind and Ferry Projects

Pic: Sembcorp

Sembcorp Marine is breaking new ground in renewable  energy engineering solutions with two separate projects worth over S$200 million (USD 145 mln).The Group has inked an agreement with Ørsted Wind Power subsidiary Optimus Wind Limited for engineering, procurement, construction, hook-up and commissioning works on two topsides, to be deployed at the Hornsea 2 Offshore Wind Farm in the UK North Sea.With a combined weight of approximately 8,700 tonnes, the two topsides will be fabricated…

06 Aug 2018

SeaKing Electrical Wins Windermere Ferry Repair Deal

The Mallard (Photo: SeaKing Electrical)

Birkenhead, Merseyside based maritime engineering company SeaKing Electrical has won a tender from Cumbria County Council to repair the electrics on the council-owned car ferry the Mallard following a fire earlier this year.The ferry’s engine room caught fire in March following a hydraulic leak causing an evacuation of 80 people from the vessel while it was operating on Lake Windermere in England’s Lake District. The Mallard has capacity for 100 passengers and 18 cars.SeaKing…

12 Mar 2018

North Carolina Ferries Change Course for the Future

Credit: NCDOT

Shoaling shifts NCDOT’s propulsion needs, prompting a sea change. Thrustmaster waterjets step in to carry the day. In Swansboro, N.C., boatbuilder U.S. Workboats (formerly Armstrong Marine) is assembling the linchpin of the North Carolina Department of Transport’s (NCDOT) business plan for its future Outer Banks ferry services. Separately, in both Hatteras and Ocracoke, crews are preparing to break ground on new parking additions and visitor facilities. The Ocracoke Express passenger…

23 Feb 2018

Enhancing Historic Lake Michigan Docking Facilities

(Photo: Foth)

A federal FASTLANE grant has been approved for S.S. Badger Ports & Harbor project impacting Manitowoc, Wis. and Ludington, Mich. A primer on how things get done. This is a story about two communities on the shores of Lake Michigan and the unique car ferry that connects them. The SS Badger provides a nautical “highway” across one of our nation’s major waterways, carrying passengers, oversized loads and trucks of nearly every kind. Essentially, the ferry provides a vital lifeline of commerce, tourism and economic growth between the cities of Manitowoc, Wis. and Ludington, Mich.

05 Jan 2018

Washington State Christens New Ferry Suquamish

Washington State’s new ferry Squamish was christened at Vigor's Harbor Island Shipyard in Seattle, on January 4. (Photo: WSDOT)

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) christened Suquamish, its fourth Olympic Class auto/passenger ferry, to serve passengers on the Mukilteo/Clinton route beginning in 2019. The christening ceremony was held at Vigor's Harbor Island Shipyard in Seattle, where the new 144-car ferry has entered the final stages of construction and preparation ahead of sea trials starting in mid-2018. In addition to summer operations on the Mukilteo/Clinton route, the new ferry will also serve as a maintenance relief vessel in the winter, filling in when other vessels are out of service.

28 Nov 2017

North Carolina Orders a New Ferry

The North Carolina Department of Transportation has ordered a new car ferry for delivery in 2019, its first since 2012 (Image: Elliott Bay Design Group)

The North Carolina Department of Transportation Ferry Division has ordered a new river class vehicle ferry to be built at Bollinger Shipyards of Lockport, La. for delivery by March 1, 2019. Designed by Elliott Bay Design Group, the 183-foot ferry with room for 38 regular-sized vehicles will replace M/V Thomas A. Baum, a 22-year-old Hatteras-class ferry that carries 26 vehicles. The vessel will be the NCDOT Ferry Division’s first new car ferry since the M/V Sea Level christened in 2012 (also designed by Elliott Bay Design Group).

31 Aug 2017

The Shearer Group Wins TxDOT Ferry Design Contract

The Shearer Group, Inc. (TSGI) said it was awarded a five-year Indefinite Deliverable contract with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to provide design, engineering and construction oversight services for a new 500 passenger, 70 car ferry providing service from Galveston Island to Bolivar Peninsula.

09 Aug 2017

Ulstein: A Century of Innovation

Ulstein Mek Verksted in 1927, ten years after having been established. (Photo: Ulstein)

Ulstein, now a century old, has spent the last 100 years looking to the future. Since its formation on August 9, 1917 in Ulsteinvik, Norway, the family-owned shipbuilder, designer and systems supplier said it has focused on tomorrow’s opportunities today. Over the years, Ulstein has evolved through innovation and pioneered trailblazing solutions, driven by its desire to meet shifting customer demands, commercial openings and market challenges head-on. There isn’t much that remains the same in a century of operation…

12 Jun 2017

Lake Constance Ferry to Test MTU Gas Engine

From left: Stefan Ballier, senior manager of ferry operations at the Constance utility; Dr. Norbert Reuter, head of the city of Constance utility company; Andreas Schell, CEO of Rolls-Royce Power Systems; and Matthias Vogel, Vice President Sales at Rolls-Royce Power Systems. (Photo: Rolls-Royce Power Systems)

From 2019, Rolls-Royce Power Systems and the City of Constance public utility are to begin testing the marine propulsion technology of the future on Lake Constance. This takes the form of a gas engine carrying the MTU brand. The public utility's new car ferry is to be equipped with twin eight-cylinder Series 4000 gas engines from MTU, each delivering 746 kW. This makes it the first inland waterway passenger vessel in Europe to be propelled by straightforward high-speed gas engines. The fuel will be liquefied natural gas.

30 May 2017

Fjellstrand's Rolls Out Environmental Ferry

Photo: Maritime CleanTech

Norwegian ship yard Fjellstrand AS has signed a contract with Norwegian ferry operator Fjord1 for the building of a new ZeroCatTM 120 car ferry. Fjellstrand was also responsible for building the car ferry MF Ampere which wrote history in 2015 as the world’s first full electrical ferry. The yard had a central position in the introduction of new battery technology in the ferry market. The new ferry is a further development of the MF Ampere and will be equipped for higher speed and longer range.

15 May 2017

New Marine Battery System from Leclanché

(Photo: Leclanché)

The Leclanché MRS will be used on the E-ferry in Denmark, the world’s largest 100 percent electric ferry by battery capacity, equipped with a 4.3 MWh Leclanché Lithium-ion battery and scheduled for launch later this year. “There is a huge opportunity for marine vessels across the world to reduce their harmful emissions and cut their operating costs by leveraging battery storage technology,” said Anil Srivastava, CEO of Leclanché. “This is why we developed the MRS and we are delighted that it is the world’s first such solution to receive type approval from DNV-GL.

09 May 2017

Fast Ferry Contract for Incat

Photo courtesy of Incat

Australian shipbuilder Incat has been awarded a contract for the design and construction of a large new vehicle-passenger ferry for a major European operator. The new vessel for Naviera Armas is the second vessel in Incat’s new generation 109 meter high speed wave piercing catamaran range and will operate in Spanish waters when delivered in early 2019. Born out of theIncat 112 meter, the concept was redesigned from the keel up by Incat’s in-house naval architects and engineers at Revolution Design Pty Ltd.

21 Apr 2017

Australian Built Ferry Heads for Denmark

Photo: Peter Harmsen / Incat Tasmania

A new generation fast ferry has left Tasmania on her delivery voyage to Denmark via the Panama Canal. The Express 3 is a 109 meter long high speed vehicle/passenger ferry from Australian shipbuilder Incat Tasmania for Danish operator Molslinjen, becoming the fourth Hobart-built catamaran in the company’s current fleet. An entirely new generation fast ferry, the 109 meter wave piercing catamaran Express 3 has evolved from Incat’s well proven 112 meter catamaran range which first entered commercial service in mid-2007. Incat’s Tim Burnell commented, “The design brief was simple.

02 Mar 2017

Industry 4.0 on the High Seas

Photo: Siemens

Werner von Siemens’ mission to lay 50,000 nautical miles of transatlantic cables might not have been destined to fail – but at least one business rival tried to make sure that it would. It wasn’t enough to merely execute a risky project that had never been done before. The crew aboard the Faraday, the ship that Siemens and his brothers commissioned, also had to move faster than saboteurs who planted false reports in the press and even broke cables. And it was in this pressure…

29 Jan 2017

Wightlink Installs New Mooring System

Wightlink’s Head of Business Operations Sean Millward with the MoorMaster units. Photo: Wightlink Ferries

Work will start shortly to install a sophisticated state-of-the-art mooring system at Wightlink’s car ferry terminals in Fishbourne and Portsmouth. This is part of the company’s £45million investment in a new hybrid battery ship for the route and improvements to port facilities. MoorMaster automated mooring units from technology company Cavotec will cut turnaround times on both sides of the Solent and improve timekeeping and efficiency. From summer 2017, remote-controlled vacuum pads fitted near the boarding ramps in Fishbourne and Portsmouth will connect with the hulls of Wightlink’s ships.

21 Dec 2016

Catching the Electric Vision

All bets would have been lost if one was to predict that I would never find one of the most advanced and modern workboats in the heart of the Norwegian Fjordlands. Sure enough, if you make the trek to Flam through nearly 50 tunnels in between the prominent towns of Bergen and Oslo, you will behold such a craft. The 40 meter Vision of the Fjords was recently constructed by Brødrene Aa shipyard in Norway and delivered to The Fjords AD earlier this year in June. The vessel is simply striking…

30 Nov 2016

Oscar B: Power in the River Currants

Oscar B (Photo: Cummins)

Since 1925 there has been some form of car ferry crossing of the lower Columbia River from Puget Island on the Washington side to Westport Slough on the Oregon side. In 1959 Wahkiakum County took over operation of the ferry and in 1962 had a steel-hulled ferry, named for the county, built by Nichols Boat Works at Hood River Oregon. This 12-car ferry served until 2015 when the county took delivery of a larger 23-car ferry. This ferry, named Oscar B, after Oscar Bergseng who served as ferry captain for 17 years. He died in 1985 after serving further years as ferry commissioner.

22 Nov 2016

FORAN Expands User Base in Korea

Hansung Ship Eng. Power station (Photo: FORAN)

These are difficult times for the shipbuilding industry, in particular that of Korea, which faces its worst-ever order drought. Big, medium-sized and small shipbuilders are undergoing deep restructuring as a consequence of the workload downturn. However, despite the crisis Korea is still the global leader in newbuilding deliveries, and its shipyards continue to demand, and now more than ever appreciate, improvements in all areas of management, design and production. At a time of difficulty…

01 Nov 2016

World First: Unmanned Autonomous Boat for Offshore Ops

Artists impression of the ‘Hrönn’. (Photo: Automated Ships Ltd.)

While talk of autonomous operations in the maritime sector have swirled for years, the talk becomes reality as Automated Ships Ltd. (an M Subs Ltd subsidiary) and Norway’s Kongsberg Maritime signed a Memorandum of Understanding to build the world’s first unmanned and fully-automated vessel for offshore operations. In January 2017, Automated Ships Ltd will contract the ‘Hrönn’, which will be designed and built in Norway in cooperation with KONGSBERG. Sea trials will take place…

28 Oct 2016

New Plan Pledges Ferry Safety Lead

File photo: Eric Norcross

Interferry has unveiled a strategic plan promising to put safety issues at the heart of its work as the voice of the worldwide ferry industry. The pledge came at the global trade association’s 41st annual conference in Manila – a venue chosen to spotlight the challenges of domestic ferry safety in developing nations. According to Interferry, the plan signals its overriding ambition to help lift ferry safety in all parts of the world to the very high standard already in place in North America and Europe, where casualties in recent decades have been extremely rare.

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