Cruise & Ferry Review - Spring/Summer 2022

8 5 Red Funnel’s Red Jet Hi-Speed service is the fastest way for foot passengers to cross the Solent from Southampton, UK, to the Isle of Wight biofuelled power while outside of central London. We have already embarked on next steps to evaluate what alternative fuel sources are going to be and we’re confident our ferries can achieve zero tailpipe emissions in future. MM: We’ll continue to explore new fuel opportunities as they become available for possible future vessels. The San Juan Clipper vessel is over 30 years old, and we’ll continue to operate her as cleanly and efficiently as possible to limit her emissions. The cost of retrofitting her to Tier 4 engines or a new fuel is prohibitive. Any future investments in new fuel will have to wait until if/when we build a new vessel. What factors will you have to consider when choosing how to fuel your ships? FC: Factors such as availability of fuels and shoreside infrastructure are key in our decisions in future fuels for our vessels. We’re very excited by the developments in this area, but as a lifeline provider, we need the assurance of reliability, both in operation and in the supply chain, before we are able to adopt new fuels with confidence. SC: The inter-port infrastructure to support the refuelling process is extremely important to us when considering such matters. We’re currently working with various partners to establish how we can most efficiently and safely deliver a bunkering system that is equal to – or better than – the processes we are familiar with, and which would allow our services to be commercially and economically viable. MM: Factors we need to consider seriously when contemplating new fuel are routes, the location of our piers, and any environmental fallouts the new fuel may have to the waterways and marine wildlife in the event of a leak. San Juan Clipper’s routes and whale-watching excursions need the vessel’s engines running for six to 10 hours between fuelling. Hence, we need to be sure that the storage, or available capacity, of the new fuel will allow the vessel to operate at speed for long periods of time. The nature of our ferry service to Friday Harbor means there’s no opportunity to take on additional fuel while docked at San Juan Island. The infrastructure of the island is not prepared to accommodate new fuelling facilities. Prior to switching to a new fuel, we also need to ensure it is locally available. We’re in the heart of Seattle, Washington, and must work with the local municipalities to build new fuelling facilities. The long-term return on investment affects the appeal of such a project. We’re fortunate that Washington State Ferries also operates throughout the region which may afford us a future opportunity to access new fuels more easily than private operators in more remote areas. “ The high-speed ferry industry will embrace new fuels and hybrids in the next five years” Morgan Mooney, Fire Island Ferries and San Juan Clipper