The German North Sea ferry operator Norden-Frisia AG has been serving the East Frisian island of Norderney for many decades. The island is currently served by five ferries with a one-hour crossing time from the mainland port of Norddeich. Navigation in these coastal waters poses special challenges: in some areas the waterway only leaves a few centimeters below the keel and the water contains a significant amount of swirled-up sand. A new sister ship of the double-ended ferry MS Frisia IV equipped with Voith Schneider Propellers (VSP) is to enter service in summer 2015. The shipping company again chose Voith Schneider Propellers as these are ideally suited for the specific operating conditions in shallow tidelands.
The ferry will be built by the Cassens shipyard in Emden. With a length of 74.3 meters and a beam of 13.4 meters, she will be slightly longer than her sister ship. The newbuild with a draft of 1.75 meters is designed to carry 1,340 passengers and 60 cars. She will reach a speed of 8 knots in shallow water and 12 knots in deeper water.
Improvements in second-half profits have prompted Copenhagen-listed ro-pax operator DFDS to lift its full-year expectations. The Danish shortsea operator saw revenue grow 8%, to DKr3.3bn ($586.5m) and earnings before deductibles rise by 31% to DKr403m compared to the second quarter of 2013. Pretax profit rose by 143% to DKr231m.
While the overall trade and passenger volumes have improved, the group has noted that there has been an impact on its Baltic Sea business from the Ukraine conflict. As a result of the conflict in Ukraine and certain sanctions against Russia, Russia has imposed food import bans from Europe, starting with a meat ban in January and then a one-year general food ban from this month.
DFDS chief executive Niels Smedegaard said in the company’s stock exchange announcement that the quarterly results were ahead of expectations and performance in July, the start of the third-quarter high season, had shown this to be continuing.