Notable Incidents

MSC, the worlds largest container ship operator experienced a wretched week in late February and early March with three of its ships in the news for all the wrong reasons. On the last day of February, the 5,711 TEU MSC Katyayni’s engine failed as she was 300 miles off the northern east coast of Iberia. The 28 year old vessel was steaming from Altamira in Mexico to Antwerp when the breakdown was reported and a tug despatched. After an arduous six days she reached Vigo for safety and assessment.

Three days into that tow, on the opposite Atlantic seaboard, the 4,688 TEU MSC Sao Paolo V reported an engine room fire which subsequently spread to the accommodation block. The 25 year old ship was outbound from Montreal nearing Les Escoumines pilot station in the mouth of the St. Lawrence. Two more MSC ships, the MSC Don Giovanni and the MSC Celine stood by and allowed crew members of the stricken vessel to rest.

The day after MSC Sao Paolo V’s fire started, and as fire crews continued to dowse the flames, her similar vintage 2,169 TEU fleetmate MSC Sky II was damaged by the second of two missiles fired from territory controlled by the Houthi regime whilst sailing 91nm southeast of Aden.

A further blow to MSC was that on 13th April Iranian armed forces seized the 149,525gt container ship MSC Aries which they are managing for owners Gortal Shipping Inc, which is affiliated with Zodiac Maritime Shipping Company. The ship had just completed a call at Khalifa port in the UAE and was heading to Nhava Shiva in India. She had a crew of 25, comprising 17 Indians, including the Master, 4 Filipinos, 2 Pakistanis, one Russian, and 1 Estonian. At the time of writing the MSC Aries was heading towards the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas.


Container Fleets

in Japan Mitsui E&S has successfully achieved hydrogen combustion of a large marine two-stroke engine, marking significant progress in the development of hydrogen as an alternative fuel. The test was conducted using MAN B&W two-stroke LNG-fired gas injection engine, one cylinder of which had been converted to a hydrogen operation. The other three cylinders continued to be fired with conventional fuel as a base case for comparison. High-pressure hydrogen was supplied to the converted cylinder from the hydrogen gas supply facility developed by Mitsui E&S. Crucially the company also confirmed that the hydrogen gas supply facility can stably supply high-pressure hydrogen required for the engine. Mitsui worked in close co-operation with MAN, the German engine supplier commenting, “This proves the advantages and the flexibility of two-stroke engine technology, and means that we are now also prepared for the future, not only for hydrogen derivatives but also for hydrogen as a fuel”.


Bulker & Tanker News

Energy Fortitude. Photo courtesy Alpha Gas

Alpha Gas S.A. has taken delivery of the third and last of the three ships constituting its latest fleet development. The 174,000 m3 capacity LNG carrier Energy Fortitude (above), built by Hyundai Samho (HSHI). Energy Fortitude was delivered directly from the yard to her first long-term charterer. The introduction of the X-DF engined Energy Fortitude brings the Greek owner’s fleet to 8 ships.



Cruise Ships

Maud. Photo courtesy Hurtigruten

Hurtigruten’ 16,151gt/2003-built Maud (above) was confirmed on 5th March as making a temporary return to Hurtigruten as part of the Coastal Express fleet under the Norwegian state contract, as part of the company’s massive environmental upgrade programs while HX (Hurtigruten Expeditions) will amend fleet deployments in the wake of its most successful Antarctic season ever. Previously, the Maud had operated on the Norwegian coast, but joined the HX fleet in 2021 to aid in delivering the company’s global vision for its industry leading expedition business, a role she will return to in 2026 after her Hurtigruten secondment. Previously HX had expanded its product portfolio to include West Africa for the 2023/2024 season. However, due to increasing levels of instability in the region, HX has elected to pause such operations for the upcoming season to ensure the safety of guests and crew.

Silver Ray. Photo courtesy Silverseas

Silversea Cruises’ 55,051gt/2024-built Silver Ray, the second Nova Class ship, was floated out at Meyer Werft on 25th February ahead of her scheduled debut in June (above). The ship will become the 6th addition to Silversea’s fleet in just three years. The ship later undertook her conveyance of approximately 32km down the River Ems to the North Sea port of Eemshaven ahead of her sea trials. Sistership Silver Nova (55,051gt) entered service in August 2023.



Cote d’Albatre (2007). Photo: Nigel Lawrence

DFDS confirmed on 21st March that a £7.3 million investment in the 18,951gt/2006-built Newhaven-Dieppe route ships Cote D’Albatre (above) and Seven Sisters was progressing well. The Seven Sisters had already returned to sea following a major upgrade and refit that heralds a new chapter for the service. DFDS has the contract to operate the service for a further 5 years from 2023 and has invested in refurbishing both ships on the route to enhance the passenger experience onboard and transform the ships into modern, luxurious spaces to meet the needs of discerning travellers. The redesign and upgrade process started in December with the Seven Sisters and the upgrade to the Cote d’Albatre was underway at the time of writing.

Midas (2022). Photo by Nigel Lawrence


At the end of February DFDS extended their charter of Godby Shipping’s 5,873gt/1990-built Midas (above) until June, with a further option to September 2024. Curiously, the ship has been laid up in Dunkerque .


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News Round-up - April 2024

A summary of just some of the maritime news that appears in the current issue of Shipping Today & Yesterday.

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