Cruise & Ferry Review - Autumn/Winter 2023

108 The hybrid-powered Manxman is the largest-ever vessel in the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company’s history says Clifford. “There is increasing pressure around the world, particularly in Northern Europe, to go green and concentrate on emissions. We may well have delivered our last diesel-powered vessel. We truly are at the precipice of a large leap in the industry.” Alaska Marine Highway Services (AMHS) newbuild ro-pax, Hubbard, has entered service too. The vessel is one of two Alaska-class sister ships ordered by the State of Alaska for service with AMHS as day ferries on its Lynn Canal route linking Juneau, Haines and Skagway. Both Hubbard and sister ship Tazlina were built by Vigor Shipyards in Alaska, with the latter being delivered in April 2019. A parallel project to extend the road network in the region in order to shorten the ferry voyage failed to materialise however and this in turn significantly reduced the usefulness of the vessels as originally designed. Before Hubbard was due to enter service in 2019, AMHS therefore decided it had to be redesigned with accommodation suitable for the original longer passage. The rework on Hubbard saw the vessel fitted with eight single-berth cabins on the Bridge Deck and a further eight twin-berth cabins installed on the Upper Deck. In addition, the vessel was fitted with a new galley and mess rooms on the Upper Deck and a new Fan Room on the Bridge Deck, while the existing port stair tower to the Bridge Deck was extended. At 5,516gt, the 85-metre ferry can carry 300 passengers and 53 vehicles. Main propulsion is provided by two ElectroMotive Diesel main engines, each developing 3,000 brake horsepower and driving Rolls-Royce propellers. At CMI Jinling Wehai work is progressing well on the hybrid E-Flexer building for Canada’s Marine Atlantic. The ship will be chartered from Stena RoRo for five years, with an option to purchase it after the contract expires. When delivered next year, the ferry will replace either the chartered Atlantic Vision (built in 2002) or the smaller, 1991-built Leif Ericson, and will provide crossings between North Sydney and Argentia. With a commitment and focus on Truth and Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples, Canada’s Marine Atlantic has announced that the ship will be named Ala’suinu (pronounced Ahlaa-sue-in-ou), which means ‘traveller’ in Mi’kmaq. Marine Atlantic’s president and CEO says Truth and Reconciliation is very important to the brand and its employees. “As we looked at options for the naming of our new vessel, our employees overwhelmingly highlighted this as their top priority. We consulted with indigenous stakeholders regarding potential names that would recognise their culture and heritage in a respectful and meaningful manner. We are very proud to name our new vessel the Ala’suinu and celebrate this connection to our Mi’kmaq communities. We look forward to its arrival early next year.” FERRY ORDER BOOK