Tag: New ship

New Isles of Scilly vessels remain on target for 2026 as contracts signed

New Isles of Scilly vessels remain on target for 2026 as contracts signed

(18 Jan 2024) The Isles of Scilly Steamship Group (ISSG), the primary provider of passenger and freight transport to the Isles of Scilly, has signed landmark contracts with shipbuilder Piriou, which will secure the long-term future of passenger travel and freight supplies to and from the islands.

The signing of the contracts means that two new ships will be delivered in 2026, making journeys faster, more comfortable, and environmentally sustainable, whilst improving reliability.

The Group, which operates passenger and cargo links between Penzance and St Mary’s, as well as an airline with flights to the islands year round, has signed contracts for a new 600-seat passenger vessel, Scillonian IV, and a freight vessel. Brittany-based Piriou has been developing designs for the two vessels since its appointment as preferred ship builder in September 2023, work which will continue over the coming months, with construction to begin in spring 2024. The new passenger ship will provide improved comfort, reliability and speed, whilst the new freight vessel will significantly improve cargo capacity.

The new vessels will be delivered using finance provided by long-term partner to ISSG, Lombard (part of NatWest Group). The solution puts in place modern vessels that will future-proof transport to and from the Isles of Scilly, providing economic certainty for the islands and securing a lifeline link for the community on Scilly.

Stuart Reid, CEO of ISSG said: “Our vessel project team and partners have been working very hard to put in place the final elements of a long-term plan which commenced in 2019. Signing these contracts allows us to provide a strong and sustainable solution that meets the travel and freight requirements of the Isles of Scilly for generations to come. We announced in September that we had selected Piriou as our preferred shipbuilder and have been working with the team to refine our designs and ensure we have vessels that meet, and exceed, the needs of this unique route.

We have put in place rigorous measures to ensure the project is delivered on time and on budget, including appointing project managers to oversee the build at Piriou’s shipyard in Vietnam. I would like to thank both Piriou and Lombard (part of NatWest Group) for the productive and collaborative working relationship which has allowed us to reach this point. My sincere thanks also go to our employees, customers, islanders, and the businesses we support for providing vital feedback on these plans, which have helped us to refine final designs.”

Ian Howard, Chair of ISSG said: “The Group has been serving the islands since 1920 and was set up by islanders to promote the long-term interests of the community. Signing contracts for these new ships represents a continuation of that mission and I am immensely grateful to the project team we put in place to arrive at this outcome.

We are working from a position of financial strength and profitability. Our policy of retaining cash within the business and taking long-term strategic decisions in the best interests of the islands, has allowed us to progress with our plans. We look forward to working collaboratively with all partners, customers and stakeholders to ensure we have two new ships we can all be proud of, helping to secure a long-term future for the Isles of Scilly.”

Vincent Faujour, President of Piriou said: “We have worked closely with ISSG since we were announced as preferred shipbuilder, to develop the most suitable designs and related costings. Signing these contracts means we have reached an important milestone in the project, with the first phase of the build due to start in the coming months.

Being based in Brittany, we are less than 150 miles from Penzance and the islands, and we look forward to building on the long association between this region of France and our friends across the English Channel. Piriou is well placed to deliver these vessels, having extensive knowledge, experience, and expertise with ship building.”

Now that contracts are signed and finance is in place, final preparations will be made over the coming months to ensure works start on schedule in the spring. Both vessels will be built by Piriou in Vietnam, before being transported to Concarneau, Brittany for commissioning. The Group’s existing passenger vessel, Scillonian III, which is currently undergoing her annual schedule of maintenance, has been a workhorse for the islands since 1977 and will continue to serve the route during the 2024 and 2025 seasons.

The new vessels will feature a range of new technologies, helping to improve resilience, comfort and reliability. The new passenger vessel will carry up to 600 people (a 24% increase on current levels) whilst reducing journey times. It will feature roll and pitch reduction systems, thereby enhancing passenger comfort, and is designed utilising modern propulsion technologies that improve efficiency and reduce environmental impact. The vessel is also designed to integrate further enhancements as technology develops.

The new freight vessel will also include a range of improvements on the current vessel, including a much-enhanced cargo capacity and an improved capacity for perishable, chilled and frozen goods, meaning that supplies can be transferred between the mainland and the islands more reliably all year round. The freight vessel will incorporate a passenger lounge with accommodation for 12 passengers.

Contracts between the Group and Piriou were signed following a significant amount of work between parties to refine vessel designs and took into account valuable feedback from consultation with communities on the Isles of Scilly.

There are also advanced plans for a new inter-island freight vessel which the Group will provide an update on shortly following further feedback from the island communities.

Isles of Scilly Steamship Group names Piriou as the shipbuilder of choice for construction of its new passenger ferry Scillonian IV and cargo vessel.

Isles of Scilly Steamship Group names Piriou as the shipbuilder of choice for construction of its new passenger ferry Scillonian IV and cargo vessel

(13 Sept 2023) The Isles of Scilly Steamship Group has named Piriou as its preferred shipbuilder to build and deliver two new vessels for the Group. 

In April, the Isles of Scilly Steamship Group announced a private financing solution for the replacement of the vessels and the intent to select a preferred shipyard. This announcement continues the next stage of the Group’s plan.

Piriou is a long-established ship builder with over 50 years’ experience building more than 600 vessels. It has over 1,400 highly-skilled employees, including an in-house design team and production facilities in Europe, Africa, and Asia. Piriou has a strong balance sheet with an annual turnover of over €300m.

Appointing Piriou comes after months of thorough evaluation, technical questioning and site visits to France and Vietnam, as part of the Group’s due diligence processes.

The Isles of Scilly Steamship Group and Piriou will commence detailed design work with the intention of signing contracts in October 2023 for the new Scillonian IV passenger ship and a new cargo vessel to replace the current Gry Maritha.

Construction of both vessels will commence in Piriou’s Vietnam yard in spring 2024. The vessels will then be transferred to Piriou’s yard in France for commissioning and testing, ready for delivery ahead of the 2026 season.

Working with a team of experts, the project will be managed by the Isles of Scilly Steamship Group’s two on-site project managers to make sure that there is constant representation at the shipyard and to ensure that the build programme remains on budget and on time for delivery.

The new faster passenger ferry will be designed to provide passengers with greater comfort through improved stabilisation, accessibility and an overall enhanced experience, in line with feedback received during the Group’s consultation with visitors and residents on Scilly.

The new cargo vessel will have increased freight capacity and provide comfortable transport for up to 12 passengers per sailing during the winter. Both vessels will use the latest propulsion technology with improved environmental credentials along with the capability to be upgraded as green technologies mature.

Stuart Reid, CEO, of the Isles of Scilly Steamship Group said:

“This is a big step forward and an important milestone for our vessel replacement programme, which will deliver new and improved vessels for the Isles of Scilly. The selection process started with over 30 shipyards which have been evaluated by our experienced project team. The project team, consisting of a mix of technical expertise, shipbuilding experience and the four masters of our current vessels, worked through a series of bids delivered by the shipyards.  Visits took place to shortlisted shipyards to complete our extensive due diligence. The project team was unanimous in its decision to appoint Piriou as its preferred shipyard on the basis of experience, technical expertise in delivering specialist ferries and competitiveness.”

Ian Howard, Chairman of the Isles of Scilly Steamship Group said:

“Piriou has an excellent reputation for building both passenger ferries and cargo vessels. Its naval architects and senior management team have conducted multiple visits to Penzance and the Isles of Scilly and have a full understanding of the challenges of the route and infrastructure to support the new vessels. We are very excited to be working with Piriou and building vessels which will deliver significant service enhancements.”

Vincent Faujour, President of Piriou shipyard said:

“We are delighted and honoured to be named as the preferred shipyard by the Isles of Scilly Steamship Group for construction of its new passenger ferry Scillonian IV and new cargo vessel. As we have been building and maintaining lifeline ferries for decades, we know how important this project is for the communities depending on the sea link services to the Isles of Scilly. Working closely with the Group’s project team, our teams in Brittany and Vietnam are already fully dedicated to deliver to the Isles of Scilly Steamship Group the most suitable vessels, designed for rough seas, with increased comfort and a reduced environmental footprint. Finally, as Concarneau and Penzance have been twin towns since 1982, I must say it is a real pleasure to participate in a project that will strengthen the links between Cornwall and the Breton “Cornouaille”.”

UK transport gets greener with arrival of first hybrid high speed passenger ferry 

UK transport gets greener with arrival of first hybrid high speed passenger ferry 

The first of three new hybrid boats joins the Uber Boat by Thames Clippers fleet

12 September 2023 – From today, sightseers and commuters in London can make more eco-friendly journeys. Earth Clipper, Europe’s first hybrid high speed passenger ferry, built to the High-Speed Craft Code, and the first of three new Uber Boat by Thames Clippers passenger ferries to operate with zero tailpipe emissions in Central London, starts sailing. 

Leading the way in passenger boat design, Earth Clipper gives an almost 90 per cent reduction in CO2e compared with running solely on conventional marine diesel. The 18th high-speed catamaran in the Uber Boat by Thames Clippers fleet takes strides in improving the ambitious sustainability credentials of the business while also laying strong groundwork for the wider marine sector.

The hybrid boat will operate solely on battery power while transporting commuters and sightseers through the Capital – in the Central Zone, between Tower and Battersea Power Station piers – and recharge while using biofuelled power outside of central London. Offering an emissions reduction of 16.5 per cent when compared with running on biofuel alone throughout all parts of the route. 

As well as being the first hybrid boat for the business, it is also its largest at 40m long – almost the length of two tennis courts laid end to end – and has a capacity of 230 passengers. Earth Clipper has also been designed for optimum passenger experience with the cabin featuring large windows which look out onto the iconic views along the Thames and offers the onboard café service that Uber Boat by Thames Clippers passengers know and love.

“This is a momentous day for us, and something we’ve been working towards for some time” says Sean Collins, Uber Boat by Thames Clippers co-founder and CEO, “Being able to offer greener transport through the capital is no small feat but something we’re incredibly passionate about at Uber Boat by Thames Clippers. 

“We are committed to not only utilising the most advanced technology to drive down our carbon footprint, but also to playing our part in breaking new ground to advance that technology as much as we can. The new boats push the boundaries in catamaran design to deliver a future-friendly option that can be made even greener as and when technology allows. We’re excited to announce too, that Earth Clipper will be joined by two sister vessels; Celestial and Mars Clipper will also join the fleet this year as we work towards our targets of reducing carbon emissions by 50 per cent by 2030 and achieving net zero by 2040 for the overall business.”

The business plans to introduce a hybrid system as a minimum with any new vessels and where possible, fully electrified or zero emission technology. In addition to the three hybrid catamarans, work is under way to deliver London’s first fully electric Zero Emission Cross River Ferry between Canary Wharf and Rotherhithe by the spring of 2025 – the first of its kind in the UK. The company’s plans to 2030 include an investment of £70 million in new fleet.

Sean believes strongly in protecting and preserving the river Thames and the communities close to the river. For over 20 years the business has been at the forefront of innovation for the river marine sector and is committed to supporting the sustainable growth of infrastructure and economic development on and around the river to ensure its long-term importance to Greater London.

Earth Clipper was built at Wight Shipyard Co in East Cowes on the Isle of Wight, where the two sister vessels are currently being completed. An investment that has been transformational and significant for the local economy on the Isle of Wight, with 65 people building the boat over the past year and 14 apprentices involved.

Uber Boat by Thames Clippers offers services that run as far east as Barking Riverside and out to Putney in the west. The business is now in its 24th year of operation and in 2023 alone, will carry over 5 million commuters and visitors through London on the river. 

For more information and to book, visit www.uberboatbythamesclippers.com.  

Manxman arrival in home waters

Manxman arrival in home waters

(29 June 2023) The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company is confirming its new flagship, Manxman, will arrive in Douglas Bay around 09:00 on Sunday, 02nd July.

The vessel, which is registered in Douglas, will leave its current berth at Southampton’s Western Docks on Friday evening. Manxman’s route to the Isle of Man will see it travel down Southampton Water, out of the Solent, around Land’s End and into the Irish Sea.

Manxman’s delivery voyage began in May and has seen the vessel cover over 12,000 nautical miles through eight different seas in three different oceans. As the journey has progressed to the west, Manxman’s crews have had to adjust their clocks ten times to match local times zones.

The well-travelled ship has made calls at numerous ports along the route, to take on fuel and supplies. As well as some of the World’s busiest ports such as Hong Kong and Singapore, Manxman’s itinerary has taken the vessel to fascinating historical locations including Muscat, Jeddah and Valletta.

Along the way, the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company’s crew have seen many unforgettable sights, including Orcas, flying fish and pods of dolphins.

For the final leg of her homeward journey, Manxman will be under the command of Captain Jonathan Palmer.

Following her arrival in Douglas, Manxman has to undergo inspections by the Isle of Man Ship Registry, including a test deployment of its Marine Evacuation System.

The new vessel will also have to undergo berthing trials in Douglas and Heysham, as well as giving the masters an opportunity to update their Pilot Exemption Certificates for the new flagship.

Alongside that, crew training, staff familiarisation, stocking and all the myriad other items that need to be put in place for the Company to deliver the high-quality passenger experience it strives for need to be completed.

It is anticipated that if all goes to plan, Manxman will begin limited service before the end of July.

A ‘Round the Island Cruise’ is being planned in order to give some customers a chance to sail on the new flagship without having to make a return crossing. Further details of this will be released shortly.

A welcome Ceremony for Manxman is planned for Sunday 9th, with further details to be released shortly.

Raise a glass to Guillaume de Normandie

Raise a glass to Guillaume de Normandie, the name for Brittany Ferries’ next hybrid ship (… and the first king to be crowned at Westminster Abbey)

(4 May 2023) Brittany Ferries has today announced the name of its forthcoming hybrid ship, which will sail between Portsmouth and Caen. Guillaume de Normandie will be the joint-largest hybrid vessel at sea when she joins the Brittany Ferries fleet in May 2025, sailing alongside sister-ship Saint-Malo.

She will also be the fourth vessel in the fleet to be fuelled by cleaner liquefied natural gas (LNG). Powered by two 13,740 kW engines, she will be configured to run on LNG, on battery power or on a combination of the two in hybrid mode.

Guillaume de Normandie will replace Brittany Ferries’ Normandie, a loyal servant sailing since 1992. The change will mark the final step in the largest fleet renewal journey in the company’s 50-year history. Five new vessels will have joined the fleet between 2020 and 2025.

Caen and the King:  

The name was confirmed at a press conference held in Caen, where Guillaume de Normandie (William the Conqueror) is buried. And, in the spirit of a partnership that has endured and strengthened since the first Portsmouth-Caen sailing in 1986, the event was hosted jointly by Brittany Ferries and the Normandy region.

Today Caen-Portsmouth is the company’s busiest route. Three departures a day in each direction carry two in every five passengers travelling with Brittany Ferries. Around 30 per cent of those who arrive in Normandy ports stay in the region, to visit treasures like the Bayeux Tapestry, the famous cliffs of Étretat and the Palais Bénédictine outside Fécamp. Many thousands use the route to pay homage to the brave souls who landed on five Normandy beaches during D-Day in June 1944.

“I think this name perfectly captures the enduring partnership between Brittany Ferries, the region of Normandy and the British people,” said Christophe Mathieu CEO Brittany Ferries. “Guillaume was the favourite son of the Normandy region, but he was also the first king to be crowned at Westminster Abbey. In two days’ time King Charles III will be the 40th.  So of course, while this is a nod to the past, it is also a celebration of our present and future together. It’s something I hope all our British friends will appreciate as they celebrate the King’s coronation this weekend.”

Prince Charles visited Brittany Ferries at its head office in Roscoff back in 1988. He was hosted by the company’s founder Alexis Gourvennec, a working farmer and one of the many farmer-shareholders who launched the company in 1973. In 2006, Gourvennec was awarded the Honorary Commander of the Civil Division of the Order of the British Empire by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Today the farming community remain the largest shareholders in a business that is as proud of its roots in the land as it is in its achievements and routes at sea.

1988: Prince Charles alongside Maurice Chollet (finance director), Alexis Gourvennec (president) & Christian Michielini (managing director)

A more sustainable ship:

Guillaume de Normandie’s hybrid technology will work like a hybrid car, running on fuel, electricity, or a combination of the two. Powered by cleaner LNG at sea, she will switch to LNG-electric and full-electric mode mainly on the approach to harbours and at quay. Preliminary studies suggest a fuel consumption reduction of up to 9 per cent when in service, thanks to her hybrid technology.

She will also be plug-in ready, meaning zero-emissions when alongside. The aim in Caen is to have shore-side power in place by 2027 thanks to investment by the Normandy region and Ports de Normandie. Portsmouth International Port is investing too. Plans are progressing well on funding and infrastructure development.

When Guillaume de Normandie’s huge batteries can be charged at quay in Portsmouth and Caen, there will be a further estimated 15 per cent reduction in climate change emissions. That’s in addition to a 20-25 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions that comes courtesy of more efficient combustion in an LNG engine.

As well as her innovative propulsion system, Guillaume de Normandie benefits from the latest innovations in naval architecture. Her hull design, for example, is long and sleek (33.5m longer than the ship she will replace) reducing energy consumption by up to 10 per cent, as well as cutting noise pollution and promising a smoother ride for passengers.

Air quality pollutants will be cut to a minimum too. Whether operating in LNG or hybrid mode, her funnel will emit no soot (particulates) and virtually no sulphur. There will also be a significant reduction in nitrogen dioxide emissions, compared with a diesel-powered ship. This means Guillaume de Normandie will be a good neighbour to those living and working around ports.

So Guillaume de Normandie will be cleaner from day one in service. And she has the potential to become even greener in the years that follow, as shore-side power is turned-on and thanks to engines that can work with e-fuels of the future like e-methane, when these are available to shipping.

On board Guillaume de Normandie:

  • Passengers: 1,310
  • Cars: 460
  • Freight: 120 lorries (or 52 cars + 63 lorries). 2,390 lanemetres
  • Cabins: 220 (including 6 Commodore suites, 32 Commodore Club cabins, 5 accessible cabins, 48 freight driver cabins).
  • Pet accommodation: 21 pet-friendly cabins and 12 kennels
  • Four restaurants and bars
  • VIP lounge
  • Two boutiques
  • Two children’s play areas
  • Two engines (13,740 kW each)

Brittany Ferries Santoña is the latest LNG-powered ferry to call Portsmouth home

Brittany Ferries Santoña is the latest LNG-powered ferry to call Portsmouth home

Brittany Ferries new LNG-powered ferry Santona arriving at Portsmout Port escorted by two Hovertravel hovercraft.
Brittany Ferries new LNG-powered ferry Santoña arriving at Portsmout Port escorted by two Hovertravel hovercraft. Credit: Strong Island

(3 March 2023) A new Brittany Ferries ship has sailed into Portsmouth International Port for the first time this week.

Named Santoña, the luxurious cruise-ferry will voyage to Santander in northern Spain twice a week, with a single weekly return-crossing to Cherbourg in France.  Her first commercial crossing to Santander departs tonight, Friday 3 March 2023, after a champagne reception to toast her arrival.

Santoña is powered by cleaner liquefied natural gas (LNG). That means passengers, freight drivers and crew can expect a smoother and quieter ride on this state-of-the-art E-Flexer class ship. Crucially, it also means far fewer air quality and CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions from her funnel.

She is the third in a series of five new vessels to join the fleet, covering the period 2019 – 2025.  It’s all part of the biggest ship renewal programme in Brittany Ferries’ 50 year history, a multi-million pound investment in a more sustainable future. Like LNG-powered sister-ship Salamanca, which entered service in 2022, Santoña will be a good neighbour to the port and to Pompey residents.

That’s because LNG is cleaner than diesel fuel. Virtually no air quality emissions like soot, sulphur or nitrogen dioxide are emitted from the funnel following combustion. Carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) are also up to 20% lower than for diesel fuel. She therefore comes with the promise of cleaner air from day one in service, with the potential to realise further improvements in the years to come when new bio and e-Fuels are available to power what are sometimes described as “fuel agnostic” ships.

“We are proud to be long-term partners of Portsmouth international Port and the great waterfront city,” said Christopher Mathieu chief executive Brittany Ferries. “But we want to be more than just a company that contributes significantly to the local economy, taking people to beautiful destinations in France and Spain. We also want to be partners for change, boosting moves to improve air quality across the city and to tackle climate change. That’s why ships like Santoña and the hybrids to come are so important.”

The next two Brittany Ferries vessels on the horizon will feature hybrid technology. Like a hybrid car, they will run on fuel (LNG), on electric power or on a combination of the two. At sea the ships will be powered by cleaner LNG. But upon the approach to the city, while manoeuvring in port and at quay, hybrid technology takes charge.

Arriving in 2024/2025, the ferries will replace two grande dames and favourites of the Brittany Ferries fleet, Bretagne and Normandie. They will serve Portsmouth-Caen and Portsmouth-St Malo and both will be shore side power ready.

They are configured to be plugged-in to recharge batteries and to run systems on board while alongside, cutting emissions to zero. Portsmouth International Port and the City Council has been key to lobbying for – and securing – the large increase in power supply needed, as well as investment in infrastructure to get power to the port gate. Work is continuing to secure the final piece of the jigsaw, connecting power from the port gate to the quayside where ferries and cruise vessels will dock.

Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Leader of Portsmouth City Council said: “We are proud of our long-term partnership with Brittany Ferries, and hugely impressed to see their plans for sustainable expansion going from strength to strength.

“Brittany Ferries shares the city’s ambitions for a future focussed on protecting the environment, we are committed to supporting them to achieve their clean growth goals, which is why we are securing additional green energy to provide power for ships in the future that can plug in when in port.

“As expected from Brittany Ferries Santona is an impressive ship and we look forward to seeing her sail regularly through Portsmouth.”

Santoña – on board

Santoña is a ship that brings the art of travel to all. Its capacious interior spaces are designed to be accessible to every passenger, with boutique shopping, a cinema and atrium bar with sky roof on the menu.

Cabins are roomy and boast mattresses that are said to be the most comfortable on the Channel. A C-Club Lounge is offered to those seeking a premium experience, to complement the comfort and relaxation that comes as standard when travelling on board a Brittany Ferries ship.

There’s ample space for 1,015 aboard this 215-metre ship. She hosts 343 cabins and pets are welcome too. There are 22 pet-friendly cabins, meaning Fido can join the family on holiday to France or Spain.

Artworks and meals on board are inspired by Santoña and the regions of Spain served by the ship. So Brittany Ferries can rightly claim to walk-the-talk when it says your holiday begins the moment you step on board.

While dreaming of beautiful destinations that await upon arrival in Santander, passengers can while away the hours on deck whale and dolphin spotting. The Bay of Biscay is one of the richest places on Earth for spying these magnificent creatures in their natural environment. Lucky travellers might even spot a blue whale, the largest creature ever to have lived on the planet.