Nesten alle større ferger er bygget i Asia

ropax

Member
Maybe nearly the last big (min. 400 Pax) ferries built in Europe (?):
WASA LINE Aurora Botnia (2021 Rauma)
TALLINK My Star (2022 Rauma)
2 x TT-LINE AUSTRALIA (2024 Rauma)
3-4 x RoPax 400 UNITYLINE/POLFERRIES (2024/2025 Remontowa)
CORSICA LINEA "A Galeotta" (2021 Visentini)
???, Honfleur (2019/2022 FSG/Fosen)
COLOR LINE, Color Hybrid (2019 Ulstein)
So only Rauma and Remontowa has new ferry-orders actually.
Small norwegian "lyspunkter" for Ulstein and Fosen.
From european ferry-companies maybe only Tallink-Silja will be in the future the only european costumer (?).

Asian yards (5 x Kina, 1 x Korea):
AVIC-CMI WEIHAI JINLING
:
STENA LINE E-Flexer, 6 x 2019-2021, 6 x 2022-2024
FINNLINES Finnsirius, Finncanopus (2023)
XIAMEN:
VIKING LINE, Viking Glory (2022)
GUANGZHOU (GSI):
DESTINATION GOTLAND Visby, Gotland (2019/2020)
ALGERIE FERRIES Badji Mokhtar 3 (2021)
COSCO SHIPPING Ji Long Dao + Xiang Long Dao (2021/2022)
DFDS Aura Seaways, Luna Seaways (2022)
P+O FERRIES P+O Pioneer, P+O Liberte (2023)
MOBY LINES Moby Fantasy, Moby Magic (2022/23)
4 x GRIMALDI 1500 (2024/25)
CSC JINLING NANJING:
TT-LINE Nils Holgersson, Peter Pan (2022)
HUANGHAI:
BOHAI FERRY Zhong Hua Fu Quiang / Zhong Hua Fu Xing (2020)
HYUNDAI MIPO:
STEAMPACKET Manxman (2023)
2 x INTERISLANDER (2024/25)

So nearly all newbuilt big ferries are/will be built by Asian shipyards... .
The last big european yards are now specialised in cruise-ship-building.

And also all new big Katamaran/Trimaran-ferries are built in Asia (Filippinene/Vietnam) and Australia,
f.ex. Fjordlines Fjord FSTR (2021) and Molslinjen-Bornholms Express 5 (2023).
 
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Nautica

New Member
The days of high-quality ferries and dedication to their work are gone, I am afraid.

I am not surprised, though, as the price reductions are tremendous (at the very unfortunate cost of quality and even human rights/labour rights etc.): Color Hybrid alone costs 1 billion NOK, which in turn shows with her outstanding interior design, use of high-end materials, beautiful welding (if you travel with her, have a look at the weldings on the sun deck, especially above the bridge), Norwegian-manufactured batteries (made in Trondheim by Siemens) and Rolls-Royce engines (Bergen Engines if I remember correctly?). The significantly larger Aura/Luna Seaways, however, cost 900 million DKK, but the design is compromised (at least when compared to the original Knud E. Hansen design, which is visible on their Facebook banner), the pictures from the building phase clearly show lots of rust on the roof/sun deck, the uncompleted hull sections were unfortunately floated and exposed to salt water during construction (probably to float out other vessels in the same dock) and the interior is, well, very "sterile". Wow-factors do not exist on the latter vessels, in comparison to Color Hybrid with her spacious ceiling height (on deck 6), large windows and even atriums (aft shop, stretching between decks 6 and 7). No doubt which vessel I would choose to travel on!

Another example: Viking Glory saw a price reduction of approx. 100 million euros, when compared to local yards (presumably Meyer Turku), but the ship sure was rusty during construction - and the rust still "shines" through the paint on recent pictures.

And we have not even discussed human rights yet...

The Manxman's standard looks way better than what you would expect from Chinese yards, but that does not stop her bulbuos bow from having some rust "stains" during construction. Honfleur's bulbuos bow, constructed by Ostseestahl, was totally rust-free, on the other hand.

It is only a matter of time before Chinese shipyards turn the trend and build cruise ships: Shanghai-based SWS are currently constructing for Carnival, having supervision/knowledge from Fincantieri. Who knows? Maybe Ro-Paxes will be built in Europe and cruise vessels in China in a couple of years...
 
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ropax

Member
Is CHINESE QUALITY of yards really so much lower today ? A big question... .
Sure - a "ChingChongChang" is not a Mercedes - but the main-point are really the building-costs. Chinese yards can offer CIRCA 30 - 45% lower prices as european yards. And this is really a lot of money. It means also that it is ok if a chines ferry has done her work after ca. 20 years - but a european ferry must hold ca. 10 years longer because she was much more expensive. Think to the 12 Stena E-Flexer f.ex. - built in european yards maybe with the same money only 7 or 8 ferries would be possible, what a big financial difference. And the building-price per ferry is so low that 3 other ferry-companies (Marine-Atlantic, DFDS, Brittany) has choosen to order this ferries in longterm-charter because it is better and cheaper and faster than to start own newbuilding activities anywhere.

And is really a "Mercedes-ferry" needed for a 90min Tax-Free-Crossing Calais-Dover or for mainly overnight truck-transport in Europe ?
And also in all these actually chinese built RoPax or Cruiseferries many european parts from the lifts via engines up to the navigationsystems on the bridge are integrated, including european design and layout - so i think this is in the most cases the right choice to choose the cheapest yard. And details as the quality of steel f.ex. can be written in the contract and controlled by the technical-staff of the ferry-company which is "living" in the yard usually during the building-time.

I think we must now wait 10, 15, 20 years and then see how looks the chinese built ferries then, how is the condition, how often was which repairs necessary etc. . Also the building-capacity is a point, chinese yards are normally gigantic, building many ships at the same time and has more free flexible capacity for to deliver a number of new ferries i a short building time. Which european yard had 2019-2025 the capacity to build 12 E-Flexer in time ? With volume discounts for series production, the E-Flexers are perhaps even 50% cheaper than if you had 1 E-Flexer built in Europe. China is today the "work-bank" of the world - the most products are coming from China, and we must accept this also in building of modern ferries. And the last big european yards (f.ex. Meyer, Fincatieri, Chantiers Atlantique) must concentrate to high-quality-cruise-ships.
 

Nautica

New Member
In a long term perspective, I think it is economically unfortunate to concentrate all shipbuilding facilities to China alone. Or any other country for that matter. With current expertise in Ro-Pax building moved East, it would have an economic disadvantage if no other countries in the long run were to become capable of building such vessels again, as China (or Korea) would have the opportunity to boost newbuilding prices, totally independent on bids from other yards. An example is Mitsubishi Heavy Industries´ AidaPrima which turned out to be very unprofitable, in fact the yard lost money on the project instead, since a decade long "pause" from the cruise industry meant they had lost the expertise and fundamental insight to build such vessels. Pride of America was definitely not a success either...

If all customers accept such poor quality and heavy delays from the East, without any compensation, why would the yards even bother to improve the quality? I have never heard of any customer being brave enough to complain about the build quality of a Chinese-built ship, except for Rederi AB Gotland who threatened to not take delivery of Thjelvar if the vibration issues were not fixed. Communication seems to be quite difficult in China, so it seems most operators just have to accept the delivery and repair at European dry docks - without compensation.
Worst case is that all future vessels will have poor quality, and eventually with a higher price tag when all their competitors are gone. In a short term perspective, ordering in China is absolutely a way of getting money quickly, but I doubt that will be the case in the future.

Given the few orders Europe has recieved, there is no question why the yards can´t expand. The only other option to construct faster in Europe is to "spread" the orders on different yards, as can be seen with the Superfasts being interspersed between Schichau Seebeckwerft, Maasa-Kværner Turku, HDW and Flender Werft. And sure, it should be possible to discuss the price as you have the opportunity to compare between four builders. Japan seems to favour this business model too, with locally built sister vessels on different yards.

For cruise ferries, the quality should be of such a standard that it meets customers´ demands, especially if the price of the ticket remains completely unchanged. If it was profitable with expensive, high-quality ferries in the past, I have no problem seeing why the shipping companies are hesitating to continue that tradition - except for huge cost savings, at the expense of the passenger experience. It will be interesting to see if SWS´s new Carnival ships manage to meet customer expectations.
 
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ropax

Member
Concentration of a branch in one country is often normal today in Global-times. Think f.ex. Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Linkedin, Apple, Google, Ebay etc. - all companies from California. Nearly all balls (Foot-, Hand-, Basket-, Volley-, Medicine- ec.) are produced in Pakistan, remember face-masks - all was produced in China, now again because of Covid-19 some european companies are producing it again. The most T-Shirts are coming from Bangladesh and so on. And the most freightships are produced in China and Korea which now have more and more success also with big ferries.

For me a little bit surprising is that Viking Line and TT has choosen yards (Xiamen and Jinling-Nanjing) without any experience with this kind of big ferries before. So maybe the price for Viking and TT was "extremly" cheap and cheaper also than from other chinese yards (f.ex. GSI and Huanghai) with more experience for to give a "new" yard such a big contract for a 2800 / 800 Pax ferry. Especially the Viking Glory is very similar as a cruise-ship so Xiamen can now take the Glory as reference for to build Cruise Ships in the future also. It is usually that companies offer very low prices if they need a first reference-product for other customers in the future. If anyone has now doubt f.ex. in the quality (as "Nautica" here) they can offer to do a trip with Glory or Nils Holgersson for to check it self.

If chinese quality would be "poor" the companies would not order at the same yard again as f.x. Destination Gotland. Also f.ex. Brittany Ferries has first checked the first own E-Flexer and then ordered 2 more for to replace the old Normandie and Bretagne. Maybe that not all details are so "perfect" built as in Meyer yard, but the price-difference is to big for to choose an european yard. And if i get something 50% cheaper i would also accept delays, especially in Covid-19-times. Viking Line was happy for the delay, now they can start with Glory if the Pandemie maybe comes to an end in spring - a start 1 year ago would have been a big problem instead and they have had more time for to get fresh money with the sale of Mariella and new shares - maybe also with to find a buyer for Amorella.

So maybe eventually also in future norwegian ferry-companies can and want pay the norwegian extremly high yard prices (?) - but we must accept that worldwide ferries will be normally built in Asia - mostly in China and sometimes in Korea, Filippinene and Vietnam also - and only in some individual cases in Europe (Rauma, Fosen, Remontowa etc.).
 
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