German-Danish ferry operator Scandlines had a busy summer with lots of traffic on both routes between Puttgarden-Rødby and Rostock-Gedser.
The latter route has so far experienced a growth close to 10 percent in cars and 5 percent in cargo volume compared to last year, according to Scandlines data.
The company believes that this is a truly encouraging progress for Scandlines given the ongoing completion of M/V Berlin and M/V Copenhagen at the Fayard yard in Munkebo, Denmark.
“We had a positive development in traffic in 2014, and we are pleased about the fact that this trend has continued in the first half of 2015. The figures seem positive, especially on Rostock-Gedser, which is good news towards the deployment of the two new ships in a few months, “says CEO of Scandlines, Søren Poulsgaard Jensen.
“We experience an increase in traffic on the central and eastern passage of Europe, and for freight we see a level beyond what we had before the financial crisis. We view the route as a long-term investment, even if a fixed link to Fehmarn would become a reality one day in the future. For example, it is a fact that you can save 150 kilometres by taking the crossing between Rostock-Gedser, if you are going from Copenhagen to for example Berlin,” adds Jensen.
The two new ferries, M/V Berlin and M/V Copenhagen, will have room for 460 cars or 96 trucks and thereby more than double the capacity compared to the existing ships.
The new ferries will have two car decks with no less than five lanes for entrance and exit. The completion of the two new ferries is an investment of more than EUR 100 million per conversion on each ship.
The work is in its final phase, and all suppliers are working to finish their particular tasks while the test of the ship systems is going according to plan.
“At present, we expect that Berlin will be able to leave the yard in late October and will be ready for operation in November,” Scandlines said.
The two new ferries will replace M/V Kronprins Frederik and M/V Prince Joachim, which currently operate the crossing.
“In order to ensure a stable transition and to continue to comply with the traffic development, Scandlines has decided to retain the former Great Belt ferry M/V Kronprins Frederik and use it as a replacement ferry on both the Rostock-Gedser and Puttgarden-Rødby routes. With an extra ferry, which can be inserted on both routes, both capacity and reliability will be ensured,” the company went on to say.