Sicily 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

Satcom Services by Telespazio, Grimaldi

Image: Telespazio a Leonardo/Thales Company

European spaceflight services company Telespazio and the shipping company Grimaldi Group have recently signed two contracts to strengthen the satellite communications capabilities of the Neapolitan shipping group on its fleet of cargo and passenger ships.Telespazio, a joint venture between Leonardo and Thales, said in a press release that the first agreement provides for managing on-board communications for RO/RO, RO/RO multi-purpose and PCTC (Pure Car & Truck Carrier) vessels in the Grimaldi Fleet that operate between Northern Europe…

30 Jan 2019

Stranded Migrants to Leave Rescue Ship - Italian PM

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said 47 migrants who have been blocked at sea off Sicily for 11 days on a rescue ship will be allowed to come ashore on Wednesday, ending the latest migrant standoff."In a few hours, they will begin to disembark," Conte told reporters in Milan. The migrants have been on the vessel since they were rescued off the Libyan coast.Italy's populist government, which took office last year, has closed its ports to humanitarian vessels in a bid to force European Union partners to take a share of those rescued in the Mediterranean.The Dutch-flagged Sea-Watch 3, which is run by a German humanitarian group, has been moored off the coast of Sicily as it waits for a safe port.

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…

01 Feb 2019

Italian Coastguard Holds Migrant Rescue Ship in Sicily

File Image / Credit © AdobeStock

Italy's coastguard on Friday blocked the Sea-Watch 3 migrant rescue ship in the port of Catania citing safety and environmental concerns, delaying the vessel's plans to return to patrolling the Libyan coastline.After a long standoff with the Italian government, on Thursday the Dutch-flagged vessel, run by a German charity, was allowed to disembark 47 migrants it had rescued at sea on Jan. 19 in the Sicilian port.Coastguard inspectors who boarded the Sea-Watch on Thursday found "irregularities" relating to safety and environmental standards.

22 Dec 2018

Shipbuilding: New 110m Catamaran Named Saint John Paul II

Virtu Ferries ship launched at Incat. Photo: Incat

Shipbuilder Incat has launched the 110m vehicle / passenger ferry from the shipyard at Derwent Park in Hobart Tasmania. The ship will commence sea trials in mid January prior to delivery to her new owner Virtu Ferries for service between Malta and Sicily.Bearing the livery Saint John Paul II the vessel has been named in honor of the Pope who served from 1978 to 2005, so revered the Pope has often posthumously, but unofficially, been referred to by Catholics as "St. John Paul the Great".

15 Nov 2018

Windstar Cruises Announces $250 Million Star Plus Initiative

A rendering of Windstar's Three Star-Class vessels, after future renovation and lengthening (CREDIT: Windstar)

Major Investment Engages Fincantieri to Renovate & Lengthen Windstar’s Three Star-Class Ships beginning in Fall 2019. Windstar Cruises today announces the $250 Million Star Plus Initiative, a major investment and expansion for the innovative cruise company. The multi-million dollar, multi-year undertaking will impact and enhance all aspects of the guest experience for the highly awarded small ship cruise line’s three Star Class vessels. “We are thrilled to announce the $250 Million Star Plus Initiative, a significant investment in the future of Windstar Cruises.

09 Aug 2018

Italy Uncovers Massive Load of Hash in Ship's Fuel Tanks

© Ria Maat / MarineTraffic.com

Italian police said on Thursday they found 20 tonnes of hash worth as much as 200 million euros ($232 million) in the fuel tanks of a Panama-flagged ship that was stopped in international waters and escorted to Sicily.The entire 11-person crew, all from Montenegro, was arrested for international drugs trafficking, Italy's finance police said in a statement.The research and survey vessel Remus left the Canary Islands bound for Egypt and Turkey, but police surveillance showed it had turned off its position transmitter near the coast of North Africa…

26 Jun 2018

Migrants Rescued by Boxship Land in Sicily

File Image: A typical Maersk boxship underway (CREDIT: Maersk)

More than 100 rescued migrants from private cargo ship Alexander Maersk, picked up off the coast of southern Italy on Friday, arrived in the southern port of Pozzallo in Sicily on Tuesday. The new Italian government has closed its ports to ships operated by charities in the Mediterranean, saying the European Union must share the burden of disembarking migrants rescued at sea, mostly off the Libyan coast. The Alexander Maersk is a container ship owned by Maersk Line, part of Danish transport and logistics A. P. Moller-Maersk Group, and is not operated by a non-governmental organisation.

11 Oct 2018

Ancient Shipwrecks Found in Greek Waters Tell Tale of Trade Routes

(Photo by Vasilis Mentogianis / RPM Nautical Foundation)

Archaeologists in Greece have discovered at least 58 shipwrecks, many laden with antiquities, in what they say may be the largest concentration of ancient wrecks ever found in the Aegean and possibly the whole of the Mediterranean.The wrecks lie in the small island archipelago of Fournoi, in the Eastern Aegean, and span a huge period from ancient Greece right through to the 20th century. Most are dated to the Greek, Roman and Byzantine eras.Although shipwrecks can be seen together in the Aegean…

31 Jul 2018

Five Baleària Ferries to Run on LNG

Photo: BaleĂ ria

The Mediterranean ferry company Baleària said it will invest €60 million ($70.2 million) over the next to years to retrofit five ferries to run on liquefied natural gas (LNG) and is planning to further expand its gas-powered fleet.The use of LNG in these five vessels — Naples, Abel Matutes, Sicily, Bahama Mama and Martin i Soler — is expected to reduce more than 45,000 tons of CO2 annually, 4,400 tons of nitrogen oxide (NOx) and eliminate sulfur and particulate emissions completely.Naples will be the first ferry to adapt the gas propulsion…

04 Jun 2018

At Least 48 Dead after Migrant Boat Sinks

At least 48 migrants were killed when their boat sank off Tunisia's coast and 67 others were rescued by the coast guard, officials said on Sunday, one of the worst migrant boat accidents in recent years.The boat went down near the southern island of Kerkenna, a tourist spot, in the night to Sunday, the defence ministry said in a statement. The victims were Tunisians and other nationalities, it said, without giving details.The rescue operation was suspended late on Sunday but will resume on Monday morning, officials said.Human traffickers increasingly use Tunisia as a launch pad for migrants heading to Europe as Libya's coast guard, aided by armed groups…

08 May 2018

Nigerian Migrants Sue Italy for Aiding Libyan Coast Guard

European Court of Human Rights (© Adrian Hancu / Adobe Stock)

Nigerian migrants who survived a deadly sea crossing last year filed a lawsuit against Italy for violating their rights by supporting Libya’s efforts to return them to North Africa, their lawyers said on Tuesday.Seventeen plaintiffs petitioned the European Court of Human Rights last week, Violeta Moreno-Lax, a legal advisor for the Global Legal Action Network, told reporters. She was among four lawyers and several humanitarian groups involved in the case.The migrants say Italy violated multiple articles of the European Convention on Human Rights…

05 Dec 2018

ClassNK Opens New Survey Office in Italy

Image: ClassNK

Leading classification society Nippon Kaiji Kyokai, also known by the brand name 'ClassNK', has opened a new exclusive survey office in Reggio Calabria, Italy with operations beginning 5 December, 2018.Reggio Calabria, located in Southwest Italy, faces the Strait of Messina which crosses through the Italian Peninsula and Sicily. In recent years, the number of surveys and audits required in the southern part of Italy and Malta has been increasing.Through the opening of its latest office…

30 Jan 2017

MAN Cryo to Deliver LNG Fuel System to Italian Ferry

Image: MAN Cryo

MAN Cryo – MAN Diesel & Turbo’s marine LNG fuel-gas-system manufacturer – has signed a contract with Sefine Shipyard in Turkey to deliver a marine LNG fuel-gas supply system (FGSS) to an Italian ferry. The LNG supply system consists of a 150 m3 vacuum-insulated storage tank, with auxiliary equipment, including an LNG vaporizer, pressure build-up unit, bunker station and heat exchanger. The MAN Cryo system will supply gas to the ferry´s three dual-fuel propulsion engines and is scheduled for delivery in November 2017. The vessel will be the first of its kind with LNG propulsion.

31 Jan 2017

GPH to Acquire cruise terminal

International law firm Watson Farley & Williams (“WFW”) has advised Turkey-based cruise port operator Global Ports Holding (“GPH”) on the acquisition of stakes in companies managing cruise terminals in Italy. Specifically, GPH acquired stakes in the companies managing the Cagliari (Sardinia), Catania (Sicily) and Ravenna (Emilia-Romagna) cruise ports, previously owned by Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (“Royal Caribbean”), Aloschi&Bassani S.p.A. and Bassani Ravenna S.r.l. Royal Caribbean will retain a minority stake in all three companies and Cagliari, Catania and Ravenna ports will remain part of Royal Caribbean’s cruise itineraries. Founded in 2004…

19 Apr 2017

High Speed Catamaran Powered by Wärtsilä Waterjets

The largest high speed catamaran to operate in the Mediterranean Sea will be powered by Wärtsilä waterjets. (Photo: Wärtsilä)

Wärtsilä has been contracted to provide the waterjets for a new high speed ferry being built by the Incat Tasmania yard in Australia for Malta based Virtu Ferries. When delivered, this vessel will be the largest high speed catamaran operating in the Mediterranean Sea, and will have a service speed of up to 38 knots. The order with Wärtsilä was booked in March 2017. The scope of supply covers four Wärtsilä LJX1500SRI waterjets and a Lipstronic control system. The equipment is scheduled to be delivered to the yard in April 2018 and the ship is to be delivered to the owners at the end of 2018.

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.

12 May 2017

Italian Submarine Romeo Romei Delivered

Photo: Fincantieri

The submarine Romeo Romei was delivered at Fincantieri’s shipyard of Muggiano, La Spezia. It is the last of the four U212A Todaro class twin units ordered from Fincantieri by the Naval Armament Unit – NAVARM for the Italian Navy. Romeo Romei, as its twin unit Pietro Venuti delivered last July at the Muggiano shipyard, features highly innovative technological solutions. It is entirely built with amagnetic material, using the most modern silencing techniques to reduce its acoustic signature.

22 May 2017

MTU Propulsion for High-speed Ferry

Photo: MTU

Rolls-Royce said it will supply four 20-cylinder Series 8000 engines from MTU to Australian shipyard Incat Tasmania. The engines will be installed in the new high-speed RoPax ferry to be used by the Virtu Ferries company on the Malta-Sicily service that it operates daily throughout the year. Set to be the largest high-speed catamaran operating in the Mediterranean, the vessel is 110 m in length and can accommodate 900 passengers plus crew and 167 vehicles on 490 truck lane meters.

19 Jun 2017

More than 120 Migrants Feared Dead after Boat's Motor Stolen

More than 120 migrants are feared to have died at the weekend when the motor of their boat was stolen, causing it to sink, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said, citing testimony from survivors brought to Italy. Two Sudanese men who arrived with around 1,000 other migrants at the Sicilian port of Palermo on Monday told IOM staff they left Libya in a rubber boat packed with 130 people, mainly Sudanese, IOM spokesman Flavio Di Giacomo said. After a few hours at sea, the men said a group of Libyans caught them up. "They described (the Libyans) as pirates, but they are basically traffickers," Di Giacomo said. "They stole the motor - something which has happened a few times recently - and at that point the boat started to take on water and sank," he said.

26 Jun 2017

Interior Refit for Cunard's Queen Victoria

Queen Vic Exterior (Photo: Cunard)

McCue Crafted Fit secured a repeat order from Cunard to refit the shops and art gallery on board its luxury liner, Queen Victoria. This follows the remastering of aspects of the Queen Mary 2 (QM2) in Hamburg, Germany in 2016. The £34 million ($43 million) refit comprises of an upgraded and increased choice of staterooms, new Britannia Club dining, a broader and more distinct bar offering, a transformed sun deck, enhanced retail areas and relocated new larger art gallery. On the May 5…

20 Mar 2018

Italy Seizes Ship that Picked up Migrants in Mediterranean

Italian authorities seized a charity’s ship on suspicion it had helped illegal immigration by picking up migrants in the Mediterranean instead of letting Libya’s coastguard take them back to North Africa, the aid group said. The Spanish charity Proactiva Open Arms picked up 218 migrants who were in unsafe rubber boats in international waters off Libya’s coast on Thursday, then took them to Sicily, the Italian coastguard said. A Sicilian court impounded the boat late on Sunday on suspicion that members of its crew had violated international agreements on handling migrants and helped illegal migration into Europe, the charity said. There was no immediate comment from the court in Catania.

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Feb 2019 - Ferry Builders

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