In the build-up to its 45th annual conference in Santander, Spain, this October, global trade association Interferry is calling for papers exploring what lies ahead on a range of regulatory, technical, commercial and operational issues.

Themed as ‘The Future is Ferries’, in addition to the popular CEO roundtables, the conference will feature sessions on:

  • Solutions for GHG emissions reductions
  • Innovative ship and shore design technologies
  • Ferry safety and safety systems
  • Attracting tomorrow’s customers
  • Supply chain logistics

“We are seeking insights on developments that will future-proof the ferry industry’s compliance, relevance and prosperity,” says Interferry CEO Mike Corrigan. “In the wake of challenges such as the COVID pandemic, BREXIT and environmental legislation, there could hardly be a more appropriate time to take stock of the route to recovery and long-term sustainability.

“Future success will depend on our response to such issues, and the pandemic is a particularly topical case in point. When last year’s travel lockdown largely restricted holiday options to ‘staycation’ bookings on domestic services, newcomers were attracted to the more relaxed and COVID-safe nature of ferry travel. Meanwhile, by maintaining lifeline deliveries of essential goods, the industry proved its value to society as a key link in the supply chain. The conference aims to highlight how the ferry business can build on this momentum alongside its technological and regulatory leadership.”

Papers are being invited from both within and outside the industry to enable the widest possible business and political perspective. Potential speakers are being asked to send a 300-word abstract and brief biography to with a copy to by June 23 for review. Those selected will be notified by July 16 and are then required to submit their final draft presentations by August 13.

Demand for a presentation slot is invariably high at what is the ferry community’s longest-established event. It should be noted that first-priority for speaking slots is allocated to Interferry members and conference sponsors, as determined by the merits of their respective submissions. Also, because Interferry is a not-for-profit organization, selected speakers are responsible for their own conference registration costs.

This year’s speakers’ program – taking place at the Santander Convention Centre – will occupy two days of a conference, networking and social agenda running from October 2-6. The 2021 event host is Brittany Ferries, whose extensive route network covering France, the UK, Ireland and Spain has included Santander since 1978.