Cruise & Ferry Review - Spring/Summer 2022

8 6 When would you estimate that the high-speed ferry sector is likely to embrace new fuel? When will you adapt your fleet? FC: Many high-speed operators provide lifeline services, so reliability is a key need. That said, we all have a responsibility to decarbonise our vessels as soon as possible, and the opportunities are certainly there for those prepared to be first adopters. Red Funnel has a young and relatively efficient high-speed fleet, so we’re able to adopt new technologies in a considered and risk-assessed manner that enables us to protect both the Isle of Wight’s service requirements and the environment in which we operate. SC: Through previous research and development we have determined that the cost and technical challenges of retrofitting the type of vessel required for our style of operation is unavailable. Therefore, a structured fleet replacement programme is likely to be our preferred route. We believe that 100 per cent alternative fuel services could be achieved within the next five years, subject to port fuelling infrastructure being available. MM: I predict the high-speed ferry industry will embrace new fuels and hybrids in the next five years. As more operators successfully transition to new fuels, the wider industry will become more willing to take the plunge. We’ll see an increase in hybrids as the industry continues to develop the technologies and provide possible investors with real-world results. Highspeed ferries with short routes and the ability to refuel at multiple locations will be the first to be transitioned to new fuels. It will be interesting to see the new industries that develop as a result of new fuels in the maritime industry. Of course, we still need to answer the big questions about how new fuels will change current regulations, classifications, safety measures, terminal infrastructure and more – and at what cost. CFR San Juan Clipper, which was designed by Incat Crowther, operates ferry services and whale-watching excursions in the heart of Seattle, Washington ROUNDTABLE D IG I TA L SH I PBU I L DE RS ELEANOR ROOSEVELT DE S IGN . BU I L D . CONSU LT . 123m Catamaran Ro-Pax Ferry www . i n c a t c r ow t h e r . c om