Tag: New ships

A hybrid future for the ferry industry

Ferry stern and ship wake

A hybrid future for the ferry industry

  • Ferry industry invests in greener and more comfortable ships
  • A total of 20 new ships will be in service within next 5 years

(10 November 2022) Industry body, Discover Ferries, announces that the UK passenger ferry industry will introduce fuel-efficient, hybrid-powered ferries to reduce carbon emissions and improve passenger experience. Six new ships have already entered service in the past two years and a further 14 will join fleets by 2027.

The continued investment in new ships and improved port facilities underlines the industry’s strategy to cater for an increasing number of passengers, provide high quality, efficient and green transport at good value.

Abby Penlington, director of Discover Ferries commented: “This industry-wide investment is great news for the millions of travellers who value comfort, space and value for money but are also mindful of their environmental impact. The new vessels are important milestones in our journey towards a net-zero industry which operates across 80 passenger ferry routes from the British Isles.”

“This industry-wide investment is great news for the millions of travellers who value comfort, space and value for money but are also mindful of their environmental impact. The new vessels are important milestones in our journey towards a net-zero industry which operates across 80 passenger ferry routes from the British Isles.”

A hybrid now for an electric future

A zero-emissions Belfast commuter service is due to launch in 2024. Designed to fly above the water and use 90% less energy than conventional ferries, the ship is being developed by the Belfast Maritime Consortium with Condor Ferries, which will also inform plans for a future electric ferry for the Channel Islands.

Hybrid electric ferries are providing a stepping-stone towards zero emissions. Two new P&O Ferries ships, launching in 2023, are designed to run on battery power for carbon neutral sailings once charging systems are installed in the ports. Hybrid vessels are in development for routes operated by Brittany Ferries, Isle of Man Steam Packet Company, Isles of Scilly Travel, Caledonian MacBrayne and London’s Uber Boat by Thames Clippers – which is set to launch the UK’s first high speed hybrid ferries in 2023. The vessels can either run on fuel/biofuel or electricity or a combination of the two. As well as fewer emissions, they are significantly quieter and offer a smoother ride – great for passengers, residents near ports and marine life.

New hybrid vessel for the River Thames, Uber Boat by Thames Clippers

Wightlink already operates a hybrid electric ship; Victoria of Wight is the greenest ferry to serve the Isle of Wight. In a bid to reduce carbon by a further 7,500 tonnes per year, it is now aiming to launch the Solent’s first all-electric freight and passenger ferry within the next five years. Similarly, all-electric vessels are in development by Caledonian MacBrayne for the West Coast of Scotland.

Shore power ready, both Wightlink and Brittany Ferries’ plan for future vessels to be plugged in at port to recharge. The ferry operator commitment coincides with Portsmouth International Port’s investment in solar generation, which completes early 2023. It is the first UK port to install solar canopies; 2,600 panels sit above Brittany Ferries’ car lanes providing shade for the vehicles while generating power. Together with a 1.5 megawatt per hour battery to store unused power, the renewable energy project could contribute up to 98% of the port’s electricity consumption in ideal conditions.

Stena Line is developing its next generation of E-flexer vessels which will be dual-fuel methanol hybrids. The ferry operator is working with engine manufacturers to convert the vessels as well as develop the port infrastructure to support them. The newly converted ships will operate on key routes from Harwich to the Hook of Holland and from Belfast to Cairnryan.

Cutting carbon on the Channel 

Efforts are underway to reduce emissions on the world’s busiest shipping lane. Next year, P&O Ferries will launch the largest and most sustainable ships to sail between Dover and France, P&O Pioneer and P&O Liberté. The two new double-ender ferries allow for boarding and disembarkation at both ends to aid fast turn-around on the busy Dover-Calais service. With a capacity for 1,500 passengers each, they will improve economic and environmental efficiencies.

P&O Pioneer and P&O Liberté, P&O Ferries

The Port of Dover itself is targeting net zero emissions by 2025 and was recently awarded funding as part of the Green Corridor Short Straits (GCSS) consortium. This includes French ports Calais and Dunkirk, ferry operators Irish Ferries, DFDS and P&O Ferries among other partners. The feasibility study will take steps to establish the first zero-carbon trade route in the UK.  

Brittany Ferries, which operates services on the western Channel to France and Spain, will launch Santoña, a new liquified natural gas (LNG) -fuelled ferry, in the Spring. Sister to the Salamanca, which entered service this year, the ships reduce CO2 output by approximately 25% and drastically reduces emissions that affect air quality. Fuel agnostic, they can also run on even cleaner fuels such as bio-LNG and e-methane when infrastructure is in place.

Saint Malo, Brittany Ferries

Increasing capacity in the British Isles and Irish Sea

In 2019 more than 37 million passenger journeys were made by ferry to the British Isles and Ireland, France, Spain and The Netherlands. The importance of comfort, value for money, and the desire to avoid airport queues, baggage fees and car rental costs is expected to increase the number of ferry travellers. To meet both passenger and freight demand, operators are investing in larger, more efficient ships.

Among the most energy efficient vessels in the world, three of Stena Line’s bigger E-flexer ships have already been deployed in the Irish Sea, these are the same model of ships as DFDSCôte D’Opale and Brittany Ferries’ Santoña, Salamanca and Galicia. Stena Estrid, Embla and Edda have boosted Stena Line’s capacity on the Irish Sea by a third and are 30% more energy efficient than the vessels they replaced. Recently added silicon coverings on the hulls have improved fuel efficiency further. 

The new Isle of Man Steam Packet Company ship can carry approximately 50% more passengers than the current ferry and features more cabins and a greatly enhanced passenger experience. Furthermore, the Isles of Scilly Steamship Group is working towards replacing its passenger ferry and freight ships. The new passenger ferry, Scillonian IV, would accommodate up to 600 passengers, increasing capacity by more than 20%.

Manxman, Isle of Man Steam Packet Company

Penlington adds: “As well as improved efficiency and a switch to cleaner fuels and hybrid propulsion, the new ships boast new onboard facilities and upgraded interiors to offer passengers and, increasingly, their pets a comfortable journey in a truly modern setting. Together with more sustainable engines, the improved onboard experience ensures future generations of ferry travellers, further cementing our industry’s future.”

“As well as improved efficiency and a switch to cleaner fuels and hybrid propulsion, the new ships boast new onboard facilities and upgraded interiors to offer passengers and, increasingly, their pets a comfortable journey in a truly modern setting. Together with more sustainable engines, the improved onboard experience ensures future generations of ferry travellers, further cementing our industry’s future.”

Onboard upgrades for four-legged travel

The investment also improves onboard experiences, to appeal to passengers’ needs and high expectations, strengthening ferries’ position as the most relaxing and comfortable way to travel.

With more space on board and access to fresh air on deck, it has always been easier and more comfortable to take pets away via ferry than by plane or train. With the growing number of pet owners and increasing cost of kennels, the trend for pet-friendly holidays is also expected to rise and operators have improved services accordingly. This year, P&O Ferries opened pet lounges on its cross-Channel services, which have space for pets and their owners to rest and access to an outside exercise area. Stena Line already offers dog kennels on routes to Ireland and Holland and new pet-friendly cabins on routes to Holland. Following requests from regular passengers, the new Isle of Man Steam Packet Company ship, Manxman, will feature two pet lounges. 

P&O Ferries Pet Lounge: Dover to Calais

Entry into Service Dates for New Ships

YearCompany and shipRoute
2020Brittany Ferries GaliciaPortsmouth-Santander and Bilbao
Stena Line Stena EstridDublin-Holyhead
Stena Line Stena EddaLiverpool-Belfast
2021Stena Line Stena EmblaLiverpool-Belfast
DFDS Côte D’OpaleDover-France
2022Brittany Ferries SalamancaPortsmouth-Santander
2023Brittany Ferries SantoñaPortsmouth-Santander and Bilbao
Isle of Man Steam Packet Company ManxmanHeysham-Douglas
P&O Pioneer and P&O LibertéDover-Calais
Uber Boat by Thames Clippers – Earth ClipperCelestial Clipper and Mars ClipperThames river
2024Caledonian MacBrayne Glen SannoxArdrossan-Isle of Arran
 Caledonian MacBrayne MV Isle of IslayIsle of Islay
 Condor FerriesBelfast-Bangor
2025Brittany Ferries Saint MaloPortsmouth-St Malo
 Brittany Ferries Guillaume de NormandiePortsmouth-Caen
Caledonian MacBrayne MV Glen RosaScottish West Coast
Caledonian MacBrayne MV Loch IndaalIsle of Islay
 Caledonian MacBrayne – two new shipsScottish West Coast
2026-27Wightlink – first electric shipSolent
2026Isles of Scilly Steamship Group – replacement for Scillonian III and freight ships Gry Maritha and Lyonesse LadyPenzance-St Mary’s

Hybrid Ferry Launch Marks a Major Milestone in Sustainable Transport on Dover-Calais Route

Hybrid Ferry Launch Marks a Major Milestone in Sustainable Transport on Dover-Calais Route

  • P&O Ferries launches new hybrid ship, P&O Pioneer, on Dover-Calais, marking the realisation of £250M investment in UK trade and travel.
  • New hybrid ferry promises cleaner, greener cross-channel travel, bringing a 40% reduction in carbon emissions.
  • The ship will be the world’s largest double-ended hybrid ferry, with two bridges meaning there is no need for it to turn in port, saving fuel on every roundtrip.

19th June 2023 – London, UK: Today, P&O Ferries’ new hybrid ship, P&O Pioneer, will make its maiden voyages, sailing tourist passengers and vital trade business across the channel between Dover and Calais.

P&O Pioneer has been designed to reduce carbon emissions on the UK’s most important trade route, which carries over £144bn of goods by ferry alone.

The ship is propelled by a combination of traditional fuel and battery power and has been designed with the capacity to become carbon neutral in future. The major investment in these two 230m long hybrid ships allows P&O Ferries to cut fuel use while maintaining capacity.

P&O Pioneer is the next step in P&O Ferries’ commitment to the Dover-Calais route, with the P&O Pioneer expected to do more than 100,000 crossings of the Channel in its lifetime.

The introduction of new, more efficient ships comes after the integrated transport and logistics company’s best-ever sustainability performance in 2022 – when it achieved a nine per cent carbon reduction.

The modular elements of the ship mean its electric power capabilities will develop in the future. As technology develops and charging stations are brought in at ports, the installation of additional batteries will allow fully electric operation.

The ship will also be the world’s largest double-ended hybrid ferry, with two bridges meaning there is no need for it to turn in port, saving fuel on every trip.

As the longest ferry to sail between Dover and Calais, P&O Pioneer and its sister ship P&O Liberté, which will join the fleet later this year, will replace the capacity of three older vessels with just two, delivering further efficiency benefits.

Peter Hebblethwaite, CEO of P&O Ferries said: “P&O Pioneer marks a new era in low-carbon travel and trade for the UK and France, with the investment of £250m in new hybrid ships on the iconic Dover-Calais route.

“For the millions of passengers who sail with P&O Ferries between the UK and France, our two ultra-modern vessels being introduced this year will deliver a fantastic travel experience.

“We are determined to make P&O Ferries the best ferry company in Europe. That means: the best ships, the best routes, and the best value for our customers.”

On P&O Pioneer, freight customers moving goods between the UK and EU on the busy Dover-Calais route will benefit from:

  • Increased capacity for trade – P&O Pioneer has the capacity to carry up to half a million goods units a year between the UK and the EU, an increase on the class of ship it replaces.
  • Reduced emissions – In service, the two new ferries Pioneer and Liberté will produce 40% less carbon emissions than the ships they replace, helping industries across the economy, such as freight and logistics operators, retailers, and manufacturers, to meet their emissions targets.
  • Flexible travel: Companies will get continued access to our space charter partnership with DFDS, giving them access to more turn up and go services.
  • Better driver facilities: The largest ever dedicated space for freight drivers on the Dover-Calais route, including a separate dining area, lounge, and showers, giving them the chance to relax, refresh and recharge.

The ferry crossing from Dover to Calais offers passengers the chance to stretch their legs, relax and take in the view, enjoy a drink or a meal, and take advantage of duty-free shopping.

P&O Pioneer Food Market

P&O Pioneer provides an even better travel experience for tourists, including:

  • Kids Zone & Teen Zone – P&O Pioneer provides more entertainment options for children of all ages. The bespoke design has a maritime-themed soft play area with thoughtfully placed seating areas for parents. Older children and teenagers are well catered for with interactive digital screens, including a Digital Selfie Wall, Arcade Games, plenty of charging points and excellent Wi-Fi.
  • Pet Lounge ​– The Pet Lounge provides an upgraded experience for pet owners to travel in comfort with a bright, welcoming space, complimentary hot drinks and an outdoor exercise area which can be directly accessed from its own dedicated lift. P&O is the first ferry company to offer a pet lounge on the Dover-Calais route, providing travellers with an alternative way to travel with their pets.
  • World Duty Free Shopping –The new ship will have P&O’slargest onboard duty-free shopping (588m2) from P&O’s travel retail partner World Duty Free. Travellers will be able to get up to 40% off high street prices on a range of products.
  • Food Market –The new layout has been inspired by food markets seen in train stations and airports with ‘grab and go’ options and self-serve tills. The design elements incorporate greenery and woodland scenes to create a natural, calm feel for the food market. There is something for all tastes, including pizzas, paninis and a delicious selection of salads, sandwiches, sweet treats and drinks.
  • The Kitchen – The bright and airy dining area, with feature floor to ceiling windows, delivers our new hot food grab and go menu; including our very popular hand battered haddock and chip, our new buttermilk chicken burger and our moving mountains vegan burger.  We also have a new children’s offering, including chicken nuggets and a cheeseburger.
  • Accessibility – P&O Ferries assist, wherever possible, to make their services accessible and easy for those with additional needs. P&O Pioneer has two additional passenger lifts (five lifts in total) aiding those with reduced mobility, all seating areas have space for wheelchairs and counters have been designed to ensure wheelchair accessibility. P&O Pioneer will also be the first to have a ‘Changing Places’ toilet on the Dover-Calais ferry route. The Changing Places toilet is a larger facility with a changing bench and hoist to support disabled people who need assistance.
  • Club Lounge – The private lounge has been designed to offer an elegant environment with a subtle colour palette, high-quality materials, soundproofing, soft and comfortable seating and a dedicated outside deck area. Guests can enjoy all-inclusive premium hot and cold food and drinks, which will be in the self-service style seen in an airport lounge. This ticket upgrade is truly the perfect space to start and finish your journey with P&O Ferries.

Irish Ferries introduces new Cruise Ferry on Irish Sea route

Irish Ferries new ship which will be renamed Oscar Wilde

Irish Ferries introduces new Cruise Ferry on Irish Sea route

Irish Ferries is pleased to announce the addition of a new cruise ferry to its fleet. The ship, originally called the STAR, was built in 2007 in Finland for Tallink Grupp.  

Irish Ferries new ship which will be renamed Oscar Wilde
Irish Ferries new cruise ferry will be renamed OSCAR WILDE

The ship will be renamed as the OSCAR WILDE. 

The OSCAR WILDE will be the largest and fastest passenger cruise ferry on the Irish Sea with an impressive capacity of over 2,080 passengers, 134 cabins, and ample space with over 2,380 lane meters for cars, coaches, and freight vehicles.

With the largest duty-free shopping space for any cruise ferry on the Irish Sea of more than 17,000 square feet, it will be an ideal shopping destination for those travelling between Ireland and Britain.

The ship interiors have a classic, modern feel and boasts Freight Drivers facilities, Club Class lounge, a self-service restaurant, an à la carte restaurant, a bar, gaming facilities, pet facilities and family-friendly features such as a children’s play area.

OSCAR WILDE children’s play area

One of the most exciting features of the OSCAR WILDE is its available speed. With a possible top speed of 27.5 knots, it is the fastest cruise ferry with the largest passenger capacity on the Irish Sea. This will enable Irish Ferries to offer tourism passengers and freight an efficient service, getting them to their destination reliably and comfortably.

Commenting on the new addition, Irish Ferries Managing Director, Andrew Sheen, said, “We are delighted to announce the addition of the OSCAR WILDE to our fleet. This new ship will be a fantastic addition to our service, offering customers the very best in terms of comfort, speed, and amenities.

“Along with usual advantages of ferry travel in terms of no luggage restrictions or security queues, we are confident that the OSCAR WILDE will become a firm favourite with our passengers and freight drivers, and we look forward to welcoming them on board.”

The OSCAR WILDE will initially enter service on the Rosslare / Pembroke route in early June, replacing the chartered BLUE STAR 1 for the busy summer period.

Irish Ferries is now taking bookings on www.irishferries.com for the new ship with fares starting from just £206 for a return journey with a car plus 1 adult. With its impressive size, speed, and range of facilities, it is set to become the ultimate choice for those travelling between Ireland and the UK on the southern corridor between Wales and Ireland.