Interferry CEO Mike Corrigan delivers an update each month which summarizes Interferry activities including regulatory updates, conference developments and membership news. The CEO Update is sent out by email to our mailing list and is announced on Interferry’s company page on LinkedIn and on Twitter via @InterferryOrg.

Greetings Ferry Fans,

It’s hard to believe our 47th annual conference in Hobart has come and gone already. I hope that the 470 people or so who attended got home safely wherever on the globe that may be. By all accounts, our Tasmania experience delivered beyond expectations. So, thanks for making the extra effort to travel to the Land Down Under, and thanks again to our conference host Spirit of Tasmania and its CEO Bernard Dwyer and his team – especially Sophie Wright. I would also be remiss if I didn’t shout out to our exceptional Interferry team for a phenomenal job once again.

In this month’s report, in addition to touching on some conference highlights, I would like to provide an update on the new directors joining the Interferry Board and announce the location of our 50th conference venue slated for 2026.

Importantly, I’m also extremely proud to tell you about a domestic ferry safety seminar we will host in conjunction with the IMO in Africa next April.

Hobart Conference Highlights

Interferry2023 was held on November 4-8. Probably one of the most remote yet beautiful places on earth to organise a signature ferry industry conference, Hobart is also home to Incat, a world-leading shipbuilder of aluminium high-speed ro-pax ferries. A guided tour of the Incat shipyard was undoubtedly one of the conference’s highlights, but more on that later.

As a testament to the growing strength of the Interferry brand, the conference was completely sold out in mid-October, with more than 400 delegates and another 70 partners from all four corners of the world joining us in the Australian island state. As for the Interferry Conference program, we always strive to find a good balance between the truly different types of ferry operations, from passenger-only vessels to mammoth ro-pax and ro-ro ferries, while at the same time also embracing the ever-important supplier community. Distinguished speakers from all these sectors gathered to discuss ways to improve the customer experience and sustainability, as well as network with their peers.

The two-day conference program started with two keynotes; Australian tourism legend Rob Pennicott entertained the auditorium with a fascinating story on how he managed to create unforgettable customer experiences in Tasmania and Victoria, while Tourism Australia’s Robert Dougan shared his insights into global tourism and travel trends. New leading edge rather than bleeding edge technologies, aimed at decarbonising our industry, took centre stage during both conference days, which also included two ferry leader debates featuring panellists who reflected a representative cross section of the world’s ferry community.



Being in Tasmania, we felt privileged to have Australasia’s ‘big three’ ro-pax ferry operators on the stage: Spirit of Tasmania, KiwiRail’s Interislander and their direct competitors, StraitNZ’s Bluebridge Cook Strait Ferries. Their ‘C-suite’ top management representatives shed some light on the challenges and opportunities when operating ferry services in the southern hemisphere. Notably, both Spirit of Tasmania and Interislander revealed further details of their respective ambitious newbuilding projects in Finland and South Korea.

The Incat technical tour that I mentioned earlier brought together some 300 ferry industry representatives to see the world’s largest battery electric ferry under construction. To be delivered to Uruguay’s Buquebus in 2025, the 130m wave piercing catamaran CHINA ZORRILLA will boast a 40MWh energy storage system. Kudos to the Clifford family for organising this largest-ever Interferry technical tour.

As with past conferences, we are pleased to be able to share with you a full account of the Speakers Program and presentations for our members and conference delegates. For members, go to You will need to log in with your Interferry login and password.

Non-member delegates have been sent an email with a separate link and password. If you have not received this email or have trouble accessing the page, contact

Interferry Members Elect Five New Directors 

Concurrent with the conference, we held our AGM with five new directors elected to the board. Joining for four-year terms are Nicolas Jimenez, president and CEO of BC Ferries; Seamus Murphy, executive director of the San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA); John Napton, CEO of Condor Ferries; and Matthew Portelli, MD of Malta-based Virtu Ferries. In addition, as host of next year’s conference, FRS Iberia/Maroc’s MD Ronny Morianna Glindemann was appointed as Interferry president for a one-year term.

Please join me in welcoming and congratulating Nicolas, Seamus, John, Matthew and Ronny, as well as recognizing and thanking outgoing directors Callum Campbell, Christophe Mathieu and Francis Portelli for their efforts in advancing the Interferry brand and influence.

Interferry2024 Conference • Marrakesh, Morocco

The overwhelming success of our last two conferences bodes well for next year’s event, which sets foot on African soil for the first time. The conference takes place in Marrakesh, Morocco from October 26-30, with the speakers program scheduled for October 28-29. More details will follow soon on our conference website.

You can view the video invitation from FRS Iberia here on to whet your appetite for making next year’s travel plans as soon as possible.

Interferry2026 Conference • Bangkok, Thailand    

While in Hobart, we also announced Bangkok, Thailand as the location for our 2026 conference, which will be hosted by Chao Phraya Express Boat Co. and its CEO, Supapan Pichaironarongsongkram. The company is Thailand’s leading ferry operator, transporting more than 12 million passengers a year along the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok. The Thai capital will welcome Interferry delegates one year after our 2025 conference in Sorrento, Italy, where Grimaldi Group will host.

As a handy reminder, here are the upcoming Interferry Conference locations and host companies:

Interferry2024 – Marrakesh, Morocco (host FRS Iberia)
Interferry2025 – Sorrento, Italy (host Grimaldi Group)
Interferry2026 – Bangkok, Thailand (host Chao Phraya Express Boat Co.)

Africa Ferry Safety Seminar • Tanzania • April 2024 

One of Interferry’s key objectives remains ferry safety, notably on domestic routes in developing countries. Through our FerrySafe initiative, we have already helped facilitate a positive change in safety culture in the Philippines – and now Africa is next on our radar.

As a precursor to the Marrakesh conference, and in partnership with the IMO, we will organise a joint Africa Ferry Safety Seminar, to be held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on April 16-17, 2024. We are still working out the details and will provide more information about this important seminar in due course. The seminar’s overarching objective is to promote and enable the improvement of ferry safety on the African continent.

If you are a supplier or operator interested in participating in this extremely important event, please let Johan Roos or myself know.

In closing, I would like to reiterate some of my comments during the conference’s closing ceremony. When I looked around a full room of engaged participants, I said that we should all be proud of how far we’ve come as an association through everyone’s collective efforts and support for the Interferry family. We truly are “Stronger Together”!

Take care and stay safe…
Mike Corrigan – CEO, Interferry

Greetings Ferry Friends,

As I touched on in my last report, September proved to be a very busy and productive month with Interferry co-hosting a sold-out European Shipping Summit workshop on intermodal transport, as well as another successful Operators Policy Committee meeting – both taking place in Brussels. Concurrently, we attended and presented to over 200 delegates at the Canadian Ferry Association conference in Vancouver.

It will likely come as no surprise to you that the focus of this report and the Interferry/Spirit of Tasmania team’s efforts are now clearly centered on delivering a top-notch conference in Tasmania from November 4 to 8.

Hobart Conference Registration Numbers • 400 Participants So Far!

I’m very excited to report that conference delegate registration is now approaching 350 – with another 50 partners and spouses joining in on the festivities. So, with another month to go for people to sign up, I can confidentially now say that Interferry2023 will be one of our top three most well-attended events of all time.

This is exceptional when you consider the logistics and costs to travel to the Land Down Under. It is a true testament to value the industry places on the Interferry brand and, of course, the pent-up desire people have to experience Australia and all its beauty.

Hobart Conference Speakers Program • Ferry Operator Participation

In addition to the many operators who are attending the conference as delegates, here’s a quick list of operators who are also participating on stage as part of the Speakers Program – in their order of appearance:

Bernard Dwyer – Spirit of Tasmania, Australia
Jeremy Ward – East by West Ferries, New Zealand
Liam Dowling – Fullers360, New Zealand
Seamus Murphy – San Francisco Bay Ferry (WETA), USA
Götz Becker – FRS, Germany
Erik Bombard – Catalina Express, USA
Christophe Mathieu – Brittany Ferries, France
Nell Payne – NRMA, Australia
Walter Rushbrook and Massimo Soprano – Interislander, New Zealand
Alessandro Morace – Liberty Lines, Italy
Matt McDonald – Searoad Ferries, Australia
Governor Jay Inslee – Washington State Ferries, USA
Niclas Mårtensson – Stena Line, Sweden
Shane McMahon – StraitNZ / Bluebridge Cook Strait Ferries, New Zealand
Supapan Pichaironarongsongkram – Chao Phraya Express Boat, Thailand
Matthew Portelli – Virtu Ferries, Malta

I hope you’ll agree that the list above provides a great cross section of our Interferry membership in terms of size, geography, operation characteristics and ownership structure.

Hobart Conference • Tours, Sponsorships and Exhibition Stands

Just a quick note to let you know that there are still a few more spots available on select tours if you haven’t signed up.

There’s room on the Bruny Island Cruise PreTour on Saturday, as well as on the Monday Partner Tour to MONA and the Botanical Gardens and the Tuesday Partner Tour to Richmond, Bonorong Wildlife Santuary and Puddleduck Vineyard. Check those links to the conference website for complete information, or you can go directly to the Online Registration page to sign up today.

Also, as we continue to receive inquiries from our supplier network regarding exhibition spaces, I’m pleased to report that our team has managed to free up a couple of more spots. If you’re interested, please let us know right away, as they will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. You can contact Karen Giffon, Interferry’s sponsorship manager at

Interferry2024 • Marrakesh Update

As the scope of the sheer devastation and human impact of the recent earthquake in Morocco has now set in, on behalf of the entire Interferry family, I want to express my sincere condolences and sympathy to the people of this great African nation. Shari and I have had the privilege of visiting Marrakesh and its surrounding area a few times, including the Atlas Mountains where the epicenter of the earthquake and vast majority of its destruction occurred.

As expected, I have been asked if the earthquake will affect the delivery of our Interferry2024 conference in Marrakesh. I’m confident in saying that, based on direct contact with our associates on the ground in Morocco and other creditable reports, the 2024 conference will proceed as planned.

Trusted reports we have received indicate that the damage sustained in Marrakesh is estimated to be about 1 to 2% – with most occurring in the Medina and Souks. Encouragingly, these sites are still open to tourists. We are optimistic that, given the significance of tourism to the Moroccan economy, Marrakesh will essentially be rebuilt to its former state by the time we arrive in about 13 months.

As further assurance, in the coming days – from October 9 to 15 – Marrakesh will host the World Bank’s and International Monetary Fund’s annual global conference with over 14,000 participants expected to attend.

See you in Hobart!

I’m very much looking forward to welcoming those of you attending the Hobart conference in about a month or so. I’m confident that we won’t disappoint.

Since I will be traveling and in Australia helping to finalize conference activities, I won’t be able to provide an October update next month. My update will return the following month with a conference wrap up, as well as notable outcomes from Interferry’s Board of Directors meeting being held on November 4 in Hobart.

Until next month, take care and travel safely…
Mike Corrigan – CEO, Interferry

Hi Ferry Friends,

The focus in this month’s update is really all about what’s happening as we enter a very busy second half of 2023 – culminating with our 47th annual conference taking place in Hobart, Australia from November 4-8.

Besides a conference update, I would like to tell you about a very important workshop we are co-hosting in September at the European Shipping Summit in Brussels; our third Operators Policy Committee meeting of the year; and a presentation I am giving at the Canadian Ferry Association’s (CFA) conference in Vancouver.

Hobart Speakers Program • Ferry Leaders Panels participants confirmed

As has become a tradition due to their popularity, we are excited to end each day of the two-day Speakers Program with an hour-long Ferry Leaders Panel session. These panels bring together a broad array of leaders in our industry, both in terms of operational profile and geographic location, to provide their views on what they have seen and heard at the conference. Each session will include some opening comments from the panelists, followed by a conversation among the group and Q&A involving the audience via the Interferry2023 conference app.

Here’s a breakdown of the participants for each of the sessions:

Day One • November 6

Götz Becker – FRS, Germany
Erik Bombard – Catalina Express, USA
Christophe Mathieu – Brittany Ferries, France
Nell Payne – NRMA, Australia
Walter Rushbrook – Interislander, New Zealand

Day Two • November 7
Jay Inslee – Washington State Governor, USA
Niclas Mårtensson – Stena Line, Sweden
Shane McMahon – StraitNZ / Bluebridge Cook Strait Ferries, New Zealand
Supapan Pichaironarongsongkram – Chao Phraya Express Boat, Thailand
Matthew Portelli – Virtu Ferries, Malta

Interferry to co-host European Shipping Summit workshop urging short sea cargo increase

Interferry is co-hosting a workshop at next month’s European Shipping Summit in Brussels to stress the importance of shifting more goods transport from road to short sea services, notably through better use of European Union funding to enhance the sector’s competitiveness.

The workshop – ‘How to increase the share of maritime transport in Europe’s trade’ – takes place at 09:30 on September 19 at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts and is open to all interested professionals.

Shipping associations from Cyprus, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain are co-hosting the session, where Interferry’s key input will be provided by Regulatory Affairs Director Johan Roos and Brittany Ferries CEO / Interferry Director Christophe Mathieu.

Ferry shipping is beyond doubt a very efficient means of transport, with policy makers and the industry united in their goal of shifting more volumes from road to sea. However, the realities required to achieve this ambition are too often lacking.

The European transport system is widely over-reliant on the road network, leading to congestion and infrastructure rundown, whereas short sea shipping can offer a more viable economic and environmental alternative. We look forward to welcoming decision makers and industry participants to our discussion on how best to support our vision while keeping a level playing field and improving the overall sustainability of the transport system.

The main Summit website is here, and registration for the workshop is available here.

Operators Policy Committee (OPC) meeting • Brussels • September 18

We are holding our third OPC meeting of the year at NH Collection Brussels Grand Sablon hotel for Interferry Level 1, 2 and 3 operator members. Once again, we expect a strong turnout – especially as many members will be in town for the above-mentioned European Shipping Summit hosted by the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA).

OPC Chairman Götz Becker and Johan Roos will have a full agenda of regulatory items to present for comment/discussion and will be seeking strategic direction from the Committee, as required. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to get to Brussels due to an engagement in Canada as discussed below.

Canadian Ferry Association (CFA) Conference • Vancouver • September 17–19

I’m very much looking forward to attending CFA’s annual conference in my home province and catching up with industry colleagues and our many Interferry members from Canada. My roots in the ferry industry include being a Director of CFA from 2008 to 2012.

I’m also pleased to have the opportunity to participate in the conference speakers program with my presentation on ‘A Global Perspective: how ferries support local economies, safety and the environment’. Please come by and say hi if you’re going to be in Vancouver.

Conference Updates

As I wrap up this month’s report I have two conference-related items to note.

The first item is that the Early Bird Discount pricing ends on September 15. So, make a note on your calendar to register before then in order to get the best deal. Complete registration details are here on the conference website.

Also, by the time many of you read this update, our conference venue, the Grand Chancellor Hobart, will likely be sold out. But not to worry! We have secured a second hotel for conference attendees, the Mövenpick Hotel Hobart, which is just 500 metres from the Grand Chancellor. Click here to find the Mövenpick details and hotel registration link on our conference website.

Until next month, take care and stay safe…
Mike Corrigan – CEO, Interferry

Greetings Ferry Fans,

After much anticipation, in this month’s report I want to focus solely on our Hobart Speakers Program. The Call for Speakers received a record number of high-quality submissions and after careful consideration I am pleased to be able to share the official speakers program for this year’s conference.

As always, delegates can expect unparalleled programming as we explore the theme: The Leading Edge – Elevating Customer Experience and Sustainability. Both days of the program will be capped with our signature, one-hour Ferry Leaders Panels featuring global industry leaders and experts. Stay tuned for an end-of summer announcement with the participant details for both panels.

Speakers Program Day 1 • November 6

On the opening day of the 47th annual Interferry Conference, the program will kick-off with keynotes by two Aussie tourism experts. Rob Pennicott (Pennicott Wilderness Journeys) is an Australian tourism legend who will discuss how he and his passionate local staff have been creating unforgettable moments for their customers since 1999. Robert Dougan (Tourism Australia) will share his insights and views on global tourist travel trends and patterns coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Following our keynotes, delegates will hear how automation is becoming a useful tool for operators to avoid service interruptions – despite a forecasted labour shortage for the foreseeable future – in the Automating the Customer Journey and Elevating Ticketing and Booking sessions.

It is no secret to our industry that electricity is becoming an increasingly utilized option when designing the vessels of the future. An Electric Futurewill be a session exploring batteries, electrification and the many considerations involved. Delegates will also be presented with three impressive passenger-only vessels developed to meet the increasing environmental regulations in their region in the Passenger Vessel Features session, before closing out the day with our first-of-two Ferry Leaders Panel.

Speakers Program Day 2 • November 7

The concluding day of the program will begin with the Safety and Regulatory session encompassing top-of-mind safety and regulatory topics including Interferry’s official regulatory update. We then move on to Improving Environmental Impact – a session crafted to provide starting points and take-aways which operators can begin to implement immediately to reduce their impact on the environment.

Under coming regulations, operators are facing the fact that many of their existing vessels – with an abundance of useful life – will be rendered inoperable unless they can be operated more sustainably. The session on Increasing Sustainability in Existing Vessels will look at options for retrofitting and operating with increased efficiency, as well as the role of proper exterior maintenance and bio-fouling management.

While sustainability remains a key focus, Optimizing Operations and Safety will be a session centered on how operators can optimize operations and safety – while not losing sight of decarbonization targets – through the efficient use of operational data.

In the afternoon, the focus will shift to some of our operator members. Delegates will get a peek into two southern hemisphere operators’ new build projects in the New Builds – Large Operators session, followed by the Operator Spotlight session during which two additional operators will share insights into operations, fleet renewal strategies and infrastructure upgrades.

Delegates will once again be enlightened and inspired by the thoughtful conversations during the final Ferry Leaders Panel which closes out the conference.

Click here to see full program and read about the speakers and moderators on

Conference Hotel Filling Fast as Early Bird Deadline Draws Near

We have been advised by the Hotel Grand Chancellor Hobart that there are only about 40 rooms left in our block booking – so please act quickly to avoid being disappointed.

On a related note, our early bird reservation deadline ends next month on September 15. There is no better time than now to register to save on your conference registration costs and guarantee your room for Hobart.

Limited Exhibition Spaces Remain

On the sponsorship side of things, we have very few “exhibition only” spaces remaining. So, if you’re interested in presenting your products and/or services at the conference, check out the Sponsorship Information page as soon as possible to find out about the remaining sponsorship options.

Until next month, take care and stay safe…
Mike Corrigan – CEO, Interferry

Greetings Ferry Friends,

As expected, June was a very busy month for the Interferry team with a Board meeting in Sweden, a site visit to Italy for the 2025 conference, the submission of a record number of Call for Speakers proposals for the Hobart conference and the continued onboarding of many new Interferry members.

Interferry Board Meeting • Gothenburg, Sweden • June 8/9, 2023

A special thank you to Stena for hosting a very successful and productive Interferry Board meeting in Gothenburg. In addition to our regular agenda items – which included approval of KPMG’s 2022 audit financial statements – the majority of the meeting was spent developing our next three-year strategic plan starting in 2024. Based on considerable input and discussion from Directors, management is now tasked with presenting a draft 2024-2026 Strategic Plan to the Board for final approval at our next meeting in Hobart on November 4, 2023.

We had 13 Directors attend our two-day event in Gothenburg with many bringing their spouses – which is very much encouraged.

Interferry2025 • Sorrento Site Visit

While in Europe, we took the opportunity to visit Sorrento and the neighbouring region to continue preparations for the Interferry2025 conference being hosted by Grimaldi Lines. I’m pleased to report that the contract with the conference hotel – the Sorrento Hilton – has been executed. In addition, we were able to finalize the evening event sites and most of the partner/delegate tours. We will likely have to return to Italy one more time to tie up loose ends and finalize a technical tour in conjunction with Grimaldi Lines.

Thanks to Paul Kyprianou (r) and Domenico Ferraiuolo (l) from Grimaldi Lines for spending a day with me as we toured Grimaldi’s operations at the busy port of Salerno. It was very impressive to see the continual movement of vehicles and trailers on and off Grimaldi’s huge RoRo vessels.

Hobart Conference • Speakers Program and Registrations  

Well, we’ve certainly got our work cut out for us given the record number of submissions we received to be on stage in Hobart – with almost 50 in total. As previously communicated, we will be notifying everyone who submitted proposals by no later than mid-July. We will be selecting submissions that will best educate and inform conference delegates in the areas of customer experience and sustainability.

On a related note, we are pleased to confirm our two keynote speakers – Robert Dougan and Rob Pennicott.

Robert Dougan, Tourism Australia’s Executive General Manager, Strategy & Research will share his insights into customer experience in his opening keynote speech. As the vast majority of ferry operators rely heavily on tourist travel, they will be interested to hear Robert’s views on global tourist travel trends and patterns coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rob Pennicott, our second keynote speaker, is an Australian tourism legend. His namesake company, Pennicott Wilderness Journeys, operates cruises and day tours from Hobart. Rob and his passionate local staff have been sharing Tasmania’s scenery, wildlife and produce since 1999.

On the registration front, I’m happy to report that with four months to go before the start of the conference we are still on pace with last year’s record setting Seattle conference. This bodes well for our final numbers as we know the majority of people register in the last month or so. However, this year due to travel logistics etc., it is strongly encouraged to sign up as soon as you can. Also, if you haven’t already done so, please check the post tour options on our conference website for some things to do before or after the conference in the Land Down Under.

Welcome to Our New Members

It is always a pleasure to welcome new members to the Interferry family. This year we are pleased to acknowledge our 10 newest members. As always, and where appropriate, please look to our supplier members first when considering your various business needs.

Blue & Gold Fleet • UNITED STATES
China Merchants Industry • CHINA
Corsica Ferries SAS • FRANCE
Fullers360 • NEW ZEALAND
Liberty Lines • ITALY
PT ASDP Indonesia Ferry (Persero) • INDONESIA
Seatransport Pty Ltd • AUSTRALIA

That concludes this month’s update. As we enter the busy summer season in many parts of the world, here’s wishing you a safe and productive few months.

Until next month, take care and stay safe…
Mike Corrigan – CEO, Interferry

Greetings Ferry Fans,

In this month’s report, I would like to update you on a couple of Hobart conference-related items; tell you about the launch of a watershed initiative addressing sustainable ferry interiors; and highlight some proposed changes to the entry/exit requirements for non-European Union citizens visiting the EU.

Interferry2023 Call for Speakers Deadline Extended to June 9

To give those interested in being on stage at our annual conference in Tasmania this November a bit more time to submit their proposals – since we are now requiring more upfront information – we’ve extended the Call for Speakers deadline to June 9 in response to the feedback we’ve received. We will still be notifying those selected by mid-July. Special thanks go to those of you who have already submitted your proposals in our portal. You can find all the information you’ll need on the Call for Speakers page on the conference website.

On a related note, I’m pleased to report that our first month of registrations for Interferry2023 in Hobart has been very brisk and, in fact, on pace with the first month of registrations for last year’s Seattle conference. Based on this response, I once again encourage those of you planning to join us in Australia to make it a priority to get registered and lock down your hotel room.

European Entry/Exit System (EES) and Electronic Authorization Systems

Just as we are all finally experiencing the barriers to travel coming down as a result of COVID related testing and travel restrictions being lifted, there’s a new challenge on the horizon – the European Entry/Exit System. The EES is a sophisticated electronic border control system that digitally records the entry and exit of non-EU passport holders. Essentially it captures biometric data and electronically stamps passports. While the timeline for implementation is still subject to debate at the European Commission, it not a matter of if but when.

The first time a non-EU citizen enters an EU border control area, they will have to have their biometric data (fingerprints, eye scan) recorded. This added complexity will not only be a challenge for travellers but also operators who provide service between EU and non-EU ports – as it could take up to almost a minute per passenger to collect the data. For ferries with hundreds, if not thousands, of passengers, the knock-on negative effects on scheduled arrival and departure times will be enormous. Adding even more angst to the situation is uncertainly as to how EES will be operationalized by the various EU countries – including whether it will go live on a phased-in or big bang approach.

Also in the works after the EES implementation – likely about six months later – is the European Travel Information and Authorization System. This is an electronic on-line authorization system for visa-exempt, non-EU visitors to digitally check that they are allowed to enter the EU for three years. It is worth noting that the UK is also planning to implement a similar system for non-UK/Ireland citizens entering their domain.

In order to help our operator members work through this quagmire, Interferry is in the process of establishing an EES/ETIAS working group. If you or your company is interested in participating, please drop Johan Roos an email.

Sustainability for Maritime Interiors

In the spirit of one of the themes of our Speakers Program for Hobart, I’m pleased to introduce the Sustainable Maritime Interiors declaration that was launched on May 30. Two Interferry members have been involved in this initiative from the outset: Jon Ingleton from Cruise & Ferry Review publishers Tudor Rose, and Andrew Sheen from Irish Ferries. I too have now added my personal endorsement to the declaration.

This is really about a healthy planet mindset and the concept of demonstrating continuous sustainability improvement as it relates to the refurbishment and construction of our ferries. I encourage you to read all about it at I’m sure it will be a topic of much discussion at our conference in Tasmania.

Upcoming Activities in June

June will be another busy month as we travel to Gothenburg, Sweden, for the Interferry Board meeting hosted by Stena. The key topic of discussion will be the development of Interferry’s 2024-2026 strategic plan. We will then travel to Sorrento, Italy, to continue planning for our 2025 annual conference with hosts Grimaldi Lines. Upon our return, we look forward to reviewing Call for Speakers submissions as work proceeds on delivering yet another informative and engaging conference program to make Hobart on November 6-7 a not-to-be-missed event.

Thanks for reading this month’s update. And as usual, if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to drop me a line.

Take care and stay safe…
Mike Corrigan – CEO, Interferry

Hello Ferry Friends,

Let me start by saying how great it was to see so many of you at the Shippax Ferry Conference. Thanks to Elizabeth and Victor Mandersson and their staff, as well as Interferry member Grimaldi Lines and Emanuele Grimaldi, for hosting our Interferry team onboard the Cruise Barcelona. It’s always nice to catch up with so many of our members and industry colleagues. I was extremely encouraged to hear how many people have booked, or are about to book, their travel arrangements to Hobart, Australia for Interferry2023.

In addition to talking about the Shippax Ferry Conference in this month’s report, I would like to highlight our April 24 Operators Policy Committee meeting; reflect on our visit to Marrakesh, Morocco, to prepare for Interferry2024 next year; and remind you that Interferry’s conference registration site for Hobart is now open.

Shippax Ferry Conference

Johan Roos, Interferry’s Director of Regulatory Affairs, and myself each had the opportunity to present to delegates at the recent Shippax Ferry Conference. Johan focused on the European Union/IMO emissions reduction regulations and taxation, as well as recent findings about electric vehicle battery fires from the EU’s LASHFIRE project on ro-ro fire safety, in which we are partners. Johan was pleased to report that comprehensive testing has shown that fires emanating from battery electric vehicles have a similar risk profile to those from conventionally-fueled vehicles. In other words, the carriage of electric vehicles on ferries presents no greater risk than transporting petroleum cars – provided of course that onboard firefighting crews are properly trained for both scenarios.

In my portion of our presentation, I gave the audience an Interferry update focused on the two key issues that continue to face our industry: (1) how we attract, train and retain people for a career in the ferry industry; and (2) shipping’s ongoing challenges in trying to develop a clear path forward to comply with the variety of emissions reduction regulations entering force in the upcoming years. There is still much uncertainty in the overall industry as to which fuel might provide the best pathway towards zero emissions. Thankfully, however, it is much clearer for ferries – electrification and/or hybrids is the horse we want to hitch our wagon to, depending on the length and duration of route. For short routes taking about one hour or less, batteries are most able to provide the best solution, while on longer routes a hybrid option combining batteries and another fuel source likely makes the most sense.

Operators Policy Committee (OPC) • Barcelona meeting • April 24

We continue to break records with the number of participants at our OPC meetings – our Barcelona meeting was attended by 23 participants representing 17 companies. The OPC meets three times per year (twice in person and once virtually), enabling the heads of our Level 1, 2 and 3 operator members to discuss and agree on the regulatory priorities for Johan and myself to pursue at the IMO and EU. The Committee adheres to a strict anti-trust code and only deals with regulatory matters affecting the entire ferry industry. At this meeting, the topics were mostly the same as those in Johan’s brief to Shippax delegates as detailed above. We ended by setting July 12, 2023 as the date of our next meeting, which will be conducted virtually.

Marrakesh Site Visit for Interferry2024

Prior to Barcelona, Götz Becker, CEO of FRS and Interferry2024 host, Shari Corrigan, Interferry’s Conference and Finance Director, and I took the opportunity while relatively nearby to visit Marrakesh to continue preparations for our 48th annual conference. We were all very pleased to see the excellent state of the conference hotel, Movenpick, and the other conference venues. It has been a few years since I’ve been to Marrakesh and the progress it is making in becoming a world-class city and tourism destination is quite remarkable. After what I’m sure will be a highly successful event this year “Down Under” in Hobart, we are set up extremely well to host our first-ever event in Africa – while at the same time being very close to central Europe and well served by international flight connections.

Interferry2023/Hobart registration now open and Call for Speakers deadline approaching

By now you probably know that we are open for business for this year’s conference and, if you haven’t already done so, it’s high time that you register. To avoid disappointment, we always recommend that you sign up asap… especially with regard to securing your room at the conference hotel.

Click here to go to our conference online registration page.

Our Interferry family in Hobart includes conference host Bernard Dwyer, CEO of Spirit of Tasmania; Technical Tour hosts Robert, Kim and Craig Clifford of Incat; and former Interferry chairman Mike Grainger, managing director of Liferaft Systems Australia (LSA).They are all extremely excited to show you a great time in November.

Bearing in mind the conference theme – “The Leading Edge: Elevating the Customer Experience and Sustainability” – I want to remind you that the Call for Speakers portal to submit your proposal is open until May 31. It is important that submissions should include all the requested information, with particular attention to the specifics of what we are looking for relative to the theme of presentations.

Click here to go to the Call for Speakers page and portal.

Thanks for reading this month’s report. Please feel free to pass along any comments, questions or suggestions you may have for me at any time.

Take care and stay safe…
Mike Corrigan – CEO, Interferry

Hello Ferry Friends,

This month we are pleased to present our semi-annual Ferry Business report published in partnership with Cruise & Ferry Review; highlight the long-awaited agreement between the European Union Parliament and Council on the EU Commission’s proposed FuelEU Maritime regulation; officially launch our Call for Speakers for the Interferry47 annual conference in Hobart; remind you that there’s still time to register for the LASH FIRE “Fire on a Ro-Ro Deck” webinar; and highlight our upcoming April meetings and conference participation.

Ferry Business Report • Cruise & Ferry Review

The Ferry Business section of the Spring/Summer 2023 issue of Cruise & Ferry Review magazine is packed with executive interviews highlighting our industry and many of our members.

In this edition, following an introduction from me:

  • Yasuo Iritani of Japan’s leading ferry operator SHK Line Group explains why the company is at the forefront of autonomous shipping in a country that, like almost everywhere else in the world,  is contending with labour shortages and environmental challenges
  • Matteo Della Valle presents Italy-based Grandi Navi Veloci‘s  strategy to deliver high-quality services that will exceed customer expectations and win business back in the post-Covid era
  • Heidi Wolden of Norwegian ferry operator Norled AS – and Interferry Board member – highlights  plans to become a zero-emissions organisation by 2040
  • Viking Line’s Jan Hanses explains how the Finnish operator is continuing to improve its environmental footprint
  • As Stena Line celebrates its 60th anniversary, Ian Hampton provides an interesting insight into the brand’s enduring success
  • Murat Orhan of Turkey’s İstanbul Deniz Otobüsleri (IDO) tells how the brand is continually developing to enhance passenger expectations
  • P&O Ferries’ Peter Hebblethwaite discusses the revitalisation of its fleet pending the arrival of its two massive double-ended newbuilds Pioneerand Liberté
  • Columnist and long-time ferry enthusiast Michael Grey explains why the secret to successful ferry operations lies in having helpful staff and well-equipped, well-located ports

Click here to read the Spring/Summer 2023 Ferry Business Report online.

EU’s Parliament and Council reach Green Deal agreement on FuelEU Maritime

On March 23, the co-legislators agreed on this new EU regulation, which sets the stage for decreases in shipping’s greenhouse gas (GHG) fuel intensity over time – starting from 2% in 2025 to as much as 80% by 2050.

FuelEU Maritime will help reduce GHG emissions by promoting cleaner fuels and energy sources that mandate a gradual reduction of the carbon content in ship fuel. In addition, other types of GHG emissions including methane and nitrous oxides will be taken into account.

These regulations also mandate the use of Onshore Power Supply (OPS) or alternative zero-emissions technologies at berth by passenger ships and containerships.

Interferry will continue to push for Emissions Trading System revenues to be used in constructive ways to help our operator members meet these targets. We will also work hard to ensure that pending parallel regulations on the shore side, the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulations (AFIR), provide ports with the proper incentives to invest in OPS infrastructure.

Interferry47 Call for Speakers • Hobart • November 4-8, 2023

On April 17, we will officially open the conference website portal for potential speakers at our 47th annual conference to submit their proposals on the theme of ‘The Leading Edge – Elevating the Customer Experience and Sustainability’.

This year’s event will focus on highlighting innovations that have already been successfully implemented – or that will be operationalized in the very near future – to improve customer service and environmental stewardship.

We are seeking presentations that reflect leading edge solutions for elevating the customer experience and increasing sustainability. And let me emphasise – the focus will be on proven technologies and projects that have been or are soon to be implemented.

Customer Experience submissions should exemplify innovative ways to improve the passenger experience while simultaneously improving operators’ efficiency, revenues and ultimately their bottom line. We will look for presentations that clearly demonstrate successful customer-centric initiatives from when customers first consider ferry travel until they get to their final destinations.

As for Sustainability submissions, we require proposals that definitively show how the ferry industry can reduce its environmental footprint on a total lifecycle basis. In addition to ways of reducing all types of emissions, we are keen to hear about innovations such as the handling of various types of vessel discharge; new ship construction methods; and maintenance practices ranging from on-the-run to refits and dry-docking. Presentations on sustainable shoreside and port practices are also welcomed.

We will announce the Call for Speakers with an Interferry News post (which also gets sent to our mailing list) as well as with posts on LinkedIn and Twitter. The Call for Speakers page on our conference website will have all the details on how to submit your proposal.

LASH FIRE “Fire on a Ro-Ro Deck” Webinar

There’s still time to register for the LASH FIRE “Fire on a Ro-Ro Deck” webinar taking place on April 5 between 14h00 and 15h30 (CET). Interferry is a partner in the LASH FIRE consortium, a wide-ranging maritime fire safety research project which most recently assessed the efficacy of drencher systems in case of a battery thermal runaway. In this respect the results are encouraging, as there is no indication that such an incident would pose a larger risk than a fire in a conventional vehicle.

Interest is very high as there are already more than 550 registrants. The free webinar will include a welcome by Interferry’s Director of Regulatory Affairs Johan Roos.

Click here to register and for more information about topics and presenters.

Upcoming Meetings and Presentations

April is going to be a very busy month for Interferry. We start with a site visit to Marrakesh, Morocco to continue preparations for our 2024 conference together with Götz Becker – CEO of host company FRS – and his team. Then it’s off to Brussels, where we will meet with EU officials and decision makers regarding various regulatory topics, including those covered in this update. Next, we will hold what is looking to be a very well attended Operators Policy Committee meeting in Barcelona on April 24. And shortly after that, we’ll be on board the Grimaldi ferry Cruise Barcelona for the trip from Spain to Italy and back to attend and present at the 2023 Shippax conference.

I hope to see many of you this month somewhere on our travels.

Take care and stay safe…
Mike Corrigan, CEO – Interferry

Greetings Ferry Fans,

As the calendar turns to March, I think I can speak for the majority of us in the northern hemisphere when I say that we are very much looking forward to seeing the first signs of spring, while I’m sure that those of you on the southern side of the equator are cherishing the late summer sunshine and warmth.

In this month’s report, I would like to report on Interferry’s latest board meeting; highlight our participation at the Passenger Vessel Association (PVA) of America conference; provide details of an important webinar on battery electric vehicle fires on ro-ro decks; and announce the long-awaited theme of the Speakers Program for our 47th annual conference in Hobart, Tasmania, this coming November.

Interferry Board Meeting • February 7 • Whistler, Canada

We had a successful Board meeting here in Canada under the leadership of new Interferry Chairman Tim Mooney. In reviewing the preliminary results for 2022, both management and the Board of Directors agreed that it was an exceptional year by all accounts with records being set for earnings, conference attendees, sponsorship and membership growth. At the same time, significant progress was made in the communications and regulatory affairs areas to heighten the association’s stature and effectiveness – especially related to Onshore Power Supply, IMO’s Green House Gas deliberations and the European Union’s Green Deal roll-out.

At our first meeting of this calendar year, the Board approved Interferry’s 2023 budget and the accompanying management objectives that will carry us through the final year of our current “Stronger Together” strategic plan. At our next Board meeting in Gothenburg, Sweden on June 9, we will conduct a long-term planning session that will set the stage for Interferry’s 2024-2026 strategic plan.

Other business of note included setting dates for the next two Interferry Board meetings – starting with November 4 in Hobart, Tasmania in conjunction with our annual conference, followed by February 2 next year in San Francisco, California. While in the Bay area, we would like to take the opportunity to visit the many local ferry operators in the region who continue to lead the charge towards zero emissions in the United States and arguably North America.

Passenger Vessel Association (PVA) Conference • Long Beach, California  

Speaking of the US, Tim Mooney and I were pleased to represent Interferry at the PVA annual conference and take the opportunity to meet with current and prospective members. During our presentation to delegates, in addition to providing an Interferry overview and update, we highlighted the key themes and takeaways from the “Power and People” Speakers Program at our annual conference in Seattle last October.

One of the main messages we delivered to PVA attendees is the importance of domestic ferry operators engaging with Interferry on regulatory matters. This is important because domestic regulators – for example, the Coast Guard in the US – ultimately look to the IMO when setting their national shipping regulations. Since Interferry has consultative status at the IMO and actively participates in all issues affecting ferries and ferry operations, there isn’t a better or more cost-effective way to proactively ensure each domestic ferry operator’s voice is being heard than being part of the Interferry family.

LASH FIRE Webinar • “Carriage of Electric Vehicles – Fixed and Manual Firefighting”

As part of the LASH FIRE project – a European Union initiative in which Interferry is one of 27 industry and research partners – our Regulatory Affairs Director Johan Roos will help host a webinar on April 5 presenting findings on the fire safety risk of Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) onboard ferries and extinguishment techniques.

With the increasing prevalence of BEV, concerns have been raised over the management of fires emanating from lithium-ion battery packs. LASH FIRE research has evaluated the efficacy of conventional sea-water drencher systems and assessed when and how to best intervene manually to contain a BEV fire.

The results show that, while BEVs present a different fire scenario, there is no increased risk for SOLAS-compliant ships to carry battery electric vehicles. I’m sure you won’t want to miss the webinar, so here’s a link to more information including registration details.

Hobart Speakers Program • “The Leading Edge – Elevating the Customer Experience and Sustainability”

I’m excited to announce the above theme for the Speakers Program at Interferry’s 2023 annual conference taking place in Hobart, the capital city of Tasmania, Australia.

I’m sure many of you know that one of my favourite expressions going back to my days at BC Ferries is “we want to implement leading edge… not bleeding edge technologies!” And that’s what we’ll be focusing on at this year’s event with presentations that highlight innovations that have already been successfully implemented – or that will be operationalized in the very near future – to improve customer service and environmental stewardship.

With regard to the customer journey, we will be looking for proposals that exemplify innovative ways to improve the passengers’ experience from the first time they think about taking a ferry trip until they arrive at their destination. We will specifically be taking into consideration learning coming out of the pandemic as to how customer expectations and interactions with transportation companies have changed. Of course, we cannot forget about the ferry operator’s bottom line, so we will be looking for presentation submissions that clearly demonstrate to our operator delegates how they can increase all types of revenues during a time when there is significant cost pressure in all facets of their business.

In the area of sustainability, we will be considering speakers’ proposals that clearly demonstrate how the ferry industry can reduce its environmental footprint on a total life cycle basis. In addition to ways of reducing all types of emissions, we are keen to hear about innovative ways to handle the various types of vessel discharge; new ship construction methods; and maintenance practices ranging from on-the-run to refits and dry-docking. Everything is fair game, but remember it has to be proven practices and technologies – not R&D-type projects.

We will be officially issuing our Call for Speakers in early April. This should give those of you interested in being on the main stage at the Hobart Speakers Program plenty of time to come up with a proposal that will educate and engage our delegates. Keep an eye out for our Interferry News announcement and watch your email for more details.

Until next month, take care and stay safe…
Mike Corrigan – CEO, Interferry

Greetings Ferry Friends,

I hope your 2023 got off to a great start. It certainly did for us as we visited the “Land Down Under” to make final arrangements for the Hobart conference. While in Australia, we also grasped the opportunity to meet with ferry operators and suppliers in Brisbane and Sydney to see their operations and to personally invite them to this year’s conference.

January also was the perfect time to take stock of the IMO and EU GHG files and set a course of action for the first half of 2023.

Hobart 2023 • The 47th Annual Interferry Conference • November 4-8, 2023

We are excited to confirm our event schedule for the Hobart conference being hosted by Spirit of Tasmania and its CEO, Bernard Dwyer, who is also an Interferry Board member and our current President.

The conference will be held at the Hobart Convention and Exhibition Centre (HCEC), located within the conference hotel – The Hotel Grand Chancellor Hobart. The HCEC is the largest purpose-built conference and events facility in Tasmania and promises to be a fantastic venue. The conference will offer many networking opportunities, including coffee breaks and Happy Hours held in the HCEC. Sponsors and exhibitors will enjoy a flexible and open exhibition area in which to display their products and services.

Other networking opportunities and events include pre-tours to Port Arthur and Bruny Island; partner tours to Bonorong Park & Puddleduck Vineyard; the Sunday Welcome Reception at the Henry Jones Art Hotel and Atrium; the Monday Networking Reception at AURA; and the Farewell Dinner at Wrest Point which will include a Variety Show and Casino Night. Last but not least, the Technical Tour hosted by Incat founder and Interferry board member Robert Clifford will be a must-attend event and a fitting finale for the conference.

We have not yet chosen a theme for this year’s conference but expect to do so in the next month or so with the Call for Speakers to be issued in early spring.

Sponsor commitments have been brisk, as companies are keen to participate and support Interferry, the ferry industry at large as well as to promote their businesses. There still are sponsorships available, but they are filling up fast – so I encourage you to act earlier to avoid disappointment.

Please continue to check our conference website, follow our LinkedIn and Twitter accounts (hashtag #Interferry2023) and watch your email for ongoing conference updates.

Visits to Brisbane and Sydney

After spending the better part of a week in Hobart, we traveled to the equally beautiful cities of Brisbane and Sydney to visit ferry operators and suppliers.

In Brisbane, we were hosted by the Brisbane Economic Development Agency (BEDA) who provided a tour of the river city and all that it has to offer. BEDA is keen to get on our roster of potential future conference locations. We then were met by Tommy Ericson of Aus Ships Group and Len Kidd of RiverCity Ferries who took us on a fantastic tour of their respective operations, as well sailed down the Brisbane River on one of RiverCity’s ferries. The day culminated with a ferry trip on board the Tangalooma ferry from Moreton Island.

After a few days in Brisbane, we were off to Sydney to meet with the many ferry operators that provide services in the extremely busy Sydney Harbour – all this under the backdrop of its famous opera house. We called on Gary Iddon of Transdev Sydney Harbour Ferries and sailed on a few of his vessels. If you haven’t been to Sydney, it’s quite the spectacle to watch the water ballet that goes on throughout the day at the Circular Quay’s many piers as ferries from multiple operators come in and go out of the harbour like water bugs in the same fashion as cruise ships call and leave from the adjacent cruise ship terminal.

We also met with Nell Payne and Will Ford of NRMA on board one of their vessels and sailed to the popular beach destination of Manly on the outreaches of Sydney Harbour. We then traveled a short distance to King St. Wharf and met with Nick Lester of Sealink to see some of his operations.

While in Sydney, we were fortunately enough to meet with Jeremy Spears, a long-time Interferry member and supporter who is now also Chairman of the Australian International Marine Export (AIMEX), and AIMEX’s CEO, David Good. AIMEX is key partner of Interferry and excellent conduit into the Australia marine manufacturing and supplier industry.

We would like to thank everyone whom we met in Australia for their friendship and hospitality. The visit there reminded me once again that Interferry truly is one big family. We are therefore very much looking forward to catching up again with all our Aussie friends in Hobart later this year.

Regulatory Update • GHG

Several regulations relating to Green House Gases came into force on 1 January 2023. We have been very successful in making sure that the IMO technical requirements are feasible for ferry operators. The financial implications of the EU instruments will be significant, but as they form part of a wider societal push to decarbonize all activities we have engaged in is to ensure that the new situation is as fair as possible, without arguing against these dramatic changes.

The IMO’s Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI) is a retroactive application of the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) which has been in place for new ships for some time. The EEXI also obliges older ships to comply with the energy efficiency levels stipulated by the EEDI as from 1 January 2023. With Interferry’s active and ongoing involvement in the creation and implementation of these regulations, we are proud to report that EEXI member compliance is very high overall.

The IMO’s Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII) sets out to require ships to operationally perform at least as well as the average performer of that ship type. So, if the average ferry consumes 100 kg of fuel per nautical mile, a ferry that consumes 150 kg is rated poorly and a ferry that only consumes 50 kg is rated as a top performer. These values are adjusted for ship size, but all other operational particularities are ignored. Interferry, joined by the rest of the maritime industry, has pushed back hard against this approach. There is no such thing as an average ship and being penalized for operating in harsh waters is simply unfair. Additionally, the CII also benefits steady-state operations, so the more port calls a ship makes in a year, the worse its CII becomes. For obvious reasons in ferry operations, being encouraged to make fewer port calls is not something we can accept.

Due to its obviously flawed design, the IMO has encouraged Flag States to not impose sanctions against non-compliance with the CII until at least 2026. Interferry would rather see the instrument repealed and reworked into something reasonable.

For companies calling at EU ports, the inclusion of Maritime into the EU Emission Trading System will come at a significant cost. Starting in 2024, the EU institutions have agreed that CO2 emissions related to EU operations will have to be paid for in a so-called cap & trade market. In simple terms, for every ton of CO2 a ship emits, the owner has to purchase an emission credit in an open market. The current price is around EUR 80 per credit, which corresponds to ca EUR 250 per ton of fuel. Given that the purchasing price of a ton of fuel is ca EUR 600 per ton, this is a significant cost increase – which is the very intention of the ETS, seeking to drive operators to low-carbon alternatives.

On the positive side, it is now almost a certainty that at least EUR 1.5 billion from the EU’s Innovation Fund will be available for financing the following types of projects: improvement in ship and port energy efficiency, innovative technologies and infrastructure, as well as the deployment of sustainable alternative fuels and zero-emission propulsion technologies. Final approval by EU Council and Parliament is expect by mid-February.

Upcoming February Activities

We don’t expect our schedule to slow down in February as we travel to Long Beach, California to attend and present at the Passenger Vessel Association of America (PVA) conference. We look forward to catching up with many of our US members and industry colleagues. Please stop by the Ferry Conference portion of the event on February 3rd to see our Interferry presentation “People and Power” given by Interferry Chairman Tim Mooney and myself.

After PVA, we are immediately off to Whistler, Canada for Interferry’s first Board meeting of 2023, taking place on February 7th. We look forward to welcoming the Board to our home country for the first time since we met in Vancouver in 2014.

Until next month, take care and stay safe……
Mike Corrigan – CEO, Interferry

Season’s Greetings Ferry Fans,

Before writing my final update for 2022, I thought I would look back at my previous reports for reference purposes. In doing so, I almost forgot that less than a year ago we were just about to enter another round of Covid-induced lockdowns. In fact, Interferry’s February 2022 board meeting in Whistler had to be cancelled and replaced with a virtual one.

And yet, unbelievably, a little more than seven months later we were able to host our most successful conference ever in Seattle, with almost 500 participants. If this isn’t a true testament to the resilience of the ferry community and human nature in general, I don’t know what is…

Interferry’s 2022 Highlights

During 2022, as we transitioned out of a multi-year pandemic coma, there were many Interferry highlights worthy of note. However, in the interest of reducing the time it takes you to read this report, I have chosen a few that I feel are the most significant. More comprehensive lists and discussions can be found in each of my monthly reports in the CEO Update section of

  • Tim Mooney took over as Chairman for a three-year term effective October 4, 2022
  • A special thank you to Christophe Mathieu for providing extraordinary leadership as Interferry Chairman during the pandemic; and for hosting a hugely successful conference in Santander in 2021 that was recently awarded Event of the Year for the Cantabria region of Spain
  • Interferry’s Board welcomed new Directors Robert Clifford of Incat, Heidi Wolden of Norled AS, Terry MacRae of the Hornblower Group and Anders Rundberg of Carus
  • We had record attendance at the Seattle conference in October. Thanks to Patty Rubstello of Washington State Ferries and Matthias Pahnke of FRS Clipper for all their efforts in hosting
  • We held two well attended meetings of Interferry’s Operators Policy Committee, with significant time and effort spent on the GHG files at both the IMO and the EU
  • Spring and Fall rounds of multi-day meetings were held with officials of the European Union’s Commission, Council and Parliament in Brussels
  • We formalized partnerships with other industry associations including Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO), the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) and the World Shipping Council (WSC)
  • We signed a working agreement with the European Community Shipowner’s Associations (ECSA)
  • Major strides were made in the promotion of the ferry industry’s need for the rapid advancement and global development of Onshore Power Supply (OPS)
  • Two editions of the Ferry Business Report were published in conjunction with Cruise & Ferry Review
  • We announced Sorrento, Italy as our 2025 conference location, to be hosted by the Grimaldi Group – following Hobart, Australia in 2023 and Marrakesh, Morocco in 2024
  • Over 25 new members – both companies and individuals – joined the Interferry family during 2022. Listed below are the members who have joined since my last update in July:
  • Abelle Consulting Ltd / Nicholas Belle
  • Ballyhoo Media Services, LLC
  • Brock Solutions
  • Consilium Marine US, Inc.
  • Danfoss Editron Oy
  • EHRENBERG SØRENSEN Kommunikation
  • Flagship Cruises & Events
  • H3X
  • Martin Stewart
  • PROP
  • Sea Lines
  • Speedcast
  • TECO 2030 Inc.
  • Vancouver Island Ferry Company

Hobart 2023 • The 47th Annual Interferry Conference

We will head to Australia in early January to make final preparations for #Interferry47, to be held from 4-8 November 2023 in Hobart, Tasmania. Once again, this is shaping up to be an outstanding event as we return to the southern hemisphere for the first time since 2002. It’s never too early to book your travel plans – and make sure to allow some time before or after the conference to explore the “Land Down Under”.

Thanks for reading and – until we connect again – have a “Ferry Merry Holiday Season”.

Take care…
Mike Corrigan – CEO, Interferry

Hello Ferry Friends,

In this month’s report I would like to introduce the new Chair of Interferry’s Board of Directors, highlight our recent visit with the Danish Ferry Association and report on an important Operators Policy Committee (OPC) meeting.

Tim Mooney Takes the Chair

At our annual general meeting in Seattle in October, Tim Mooney of Fire Island Ferries in Bay Shore, New York, was unanimously endorsed as the new head of the Interferry Board of Directors for the next three years.

I know that many of you have already met Tim during his nine-year tenure as a board member or likely even before that at one of our conferences. In fact, Tim’s involvement with Interferry goes back decades to when his dad, Captain Ed Mooney, played an integral part in creating our association.

As a self-described “small operator”, Tim is sure to balance the association’s focus on all types of operator members at the Board table, as well as providing a US perspective on our strategic discussions through his involvement with the Passenger Vessel Association (PVA) of America.

Tim has spent considerable time traveling the globe and is well versed on ferry operations around the world. We look forward to his leadership over the next three years as we continue to grow our worldwide influence.

Interferry Meeting with the Danish Ferry Association

Regulatory Affairs Director Johan Roos and I were very pleased to be hosted by Danish Ferry Association board members while in Copenhagen in November. We had engaging and productive round table discussions with Jacob Clasen (Deputy CEO, Danish Shipping), Carsten Jensen (CEO, MOLSLINJEN A/S), Carsten Nørland (CEO, Scandlines) and Kristian Durhuus (CEO, ForSea).

L to R: Jacob K. Clasen, Danish Shipping; Carsten Jensen, MOLSLINJEN A/S; Carsten Nørland, Scandlines; Mike Corrigan, Interferry; Johan Roos, Interferry; Kristian Durhuus, ForSea

It is important that Interferry continues to prioritise meeting with national ferry industry associations whenever possible. I am always impressed that, regardless of where in the world we talk with ferry operators, the topics are almost always the same: customers, governments, regulators, fuel prices, zero emissions technologies, the environment and safety. Such discussions further emphasise Interferry’s reason for being and the need to continue providing our members with a conduit for sharing best practices and networking opportunities.

Operators Policy Committee (OPC) Meeting and ETS

Special thanks to Torben Carlsen and DFDS for hosting Interferry’s OPC meeting on November 15. With 23 participants, it was the best attended meeting of our committee, whose primary purpose is to set the association’s regulatory agenda.

Public affairs consultancy ADS Insight, which assists our efforts in Brussels with the European Union (EU), provided an overview of greenhouse gas (GHG) regulations that are being finalized in complicated tri-party negotiations between the EU’s Commission, Parliament and Council. Their presentation framed most of our discussions and ultimately led to the committee’s strong positioning at the meeting’s conclusion.

OPC members agreed that the two regulatory issues currently being finalized in Brussels likely to have the most significant impact on the ferry sector are the allocation of Emissions Trading System (ETS) revenues and the treatment of ETS for sea shipping vs road transportation.

Interferry has long argued it is critical that a significant portion of the ETS revenues generated from shipping under the new regulations flow back to our industry directly to ports and ferries. This is required to ensure funding is available to invest in technologies like the rapid advancement of electrification and onshore power development that are crucial to meeting impending GHG emissions reduction targets. It is still uncertain if a separate fund arising from the ETS scheme will be created for the shipping industry, or if the monies will flow back to member states to allocate as they see fit within their respective countries.

As a member of the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA), we have provided input and strong support for ECSA’s recent statement on this issue, which called for “earmarking of shipping ETS revenues in the final negotiating round”.

The second regulatory issue that could have a compounding negative effect on the ferry business is the implementation and timing of ETS on ferries in relation to if and when it is imposed on road haulage. Over the years, ferries have been successful in decongesting the motorways of Europe and improving overall air quality by shifting the movement of goods and cargo from roads to ferries. If ETS isn’t implemented for trucks or done so in an uncoordinated manner – i.e. long after ferries – then market distortion will be created causing an intermodal shift back to roads.

Coming out of the OPC meeting, as the window of opportunity to influence decision makers is rapidly closing, we immediately released the following statement: “Interferry urges EU co-legislators to safeguard modal shift objectives by ensuring timing consistency in the ETS for short sea and road transport”.

Our summary statement:

“Therefore, in view of the ongoing trilogue negotiations on the ETS, we call on the national governments in the Council and the Members of the European Parliament to preserve the key role of short sea shipping in reaching the EU’s modal shift targets. Interferry believes that to achieve this, the timing of the implementation of ETS for short sea shipping and road transportation should be done in a coordinated manner.”

Well, that wraps up my report for November, as we now enter the last month of 2022 and prepare for the busy Christmas season.

Until next time, be safe…
Mike Corrigan – CEO, Interferry