Cruise & Ferry Review - Autumn/Winter 2023

118 REFIT REPORT Victoria of Wight A detailed programme of essential maintenance on six of Wightlink’s vehicle and passenger ferries has been completed at A&P Shipyard. The Isle of Wight-based ferry company invested more than £6 million ($7.6 million) over seven months to maintain its fleet. While Wightlink’s six ferries were refitted at the A&P shipyard in Falmouth, its two FastCats passenger catamarans were upgraded at Trafalgar shipyard in Portchester, UK. Some of the key tasks carried out included remodelling the café on Deck 4 of Victoria of Wight, Wightlink’s hybrid-powered flagship, and repainting areas onboard all six ferries (using up to 700 litres of paint per vessel). Wight Sun was the final vessel to return to its homeport of Lymington on 27 March 2023. “Every ship and FastCat in our fleet has spent time in dry dock this season and they look magnificent,” said Keith Greenfield, Wightlink chief executive. Stena Hollandica and Stena Britannica At the beginning of 2023, EDR Shipyard at the Port of Antwerp in Belgium completed a €1 million ($1.1 million) refit on Stena Line’s two largest ferries, Stena Hollandica and Stena Britannica. It converted 15 cabins across the two vessels to offer pet-friendly travel for up to three dogs per cabin. Each North Sea vessel was also fitted with new onboard facilities including an additional duty-free shop, extending their retail floorspace by 40 per cent. “Our annual dry docking programme is key to keeping our vessels shipshape and continue looking so good,” said Erik Thulin, trade director for the North Sea. “It also allows us to be flexible in responding to our customers’ demands.” Photo: Wightlink Photo: Stena Line