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The first vessel in a series of new ice-class feeder ships has made its maiden call St. Petersburg, Russia after sailing from Rotterdam.
The Vistula Maersk made her maiden call at Petrolesport and First Container Terminal in St. Petersburg on Friday.
The vessel is the first a series of purpose-built, ice-class containerships to serve the North Sea and Baltic Sea for Seago Line, the intra-Europe and short-sea carrier of Maersk. After successful trials, the vessel is now operating on the carrier’s feeder connection between The Netherlands and Russia.
“We are truly breaking the ice and offering year-round stable transportation solutions to our customers, who require a reliable service despite weather conditions”, says Seago Line CEO Søren Castbak.
Vistula Maersk will soon be joined by her sister vessel Volga Maersk on the North Europe Feeder Link 1 service.
During the coming months, five other sister vessels (Vayenga Maersk, Venta Maersk, Vuoksi Maersk, Vilnia Maersk and the last one still to be announced) will join Seago Line’s operations in the North Sea and Baltic Sea.
The new ships are touted as the world’s largest ice-class containerships, designed specifically for operation in winter conditions (down to -25 degrees C). Apart from a stronger hull, they are characterized by high refrigerated cargo intake (600 reefer plugs), which is of special importance in the trade where perishables make a large share of cargoes moved, according to Seago Line.
New ice-class vessels provide significant efficiency improvement per TEU, compared to the vessels they replace which are in the 1,400-1,700 TEU capacity range. Vistula and Volga have sheltered forecastle deck for safe mooring operations in winter conditions and enclosed bridge wings for safe manoeuvring and harbour approach. Their propeller and rudder design has been optimised for lowest fuel consumption. Also, the vessels will use marine diesel fuel which is fully compliant with the Emission Control Area (ECA) rules, established by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO). -Seago Line
“This new class of vessels plays a vital role in our strategy of growing with our customers and building on our market leadership position within transport of refrigerated cargo”, said Søren Castbak.
In 2017, Moscow Maersk – a next generation Triple-E vessel was added to Maersk Line’s North European fleet. “Vistula and Volga joining Seago Line’s fleet will soon be another symbol of our commitment to serving the Russian market and local customers”, says Søren Castbak.
Vistula Maersk and Volga Maersk will operate on Seago Line’s L16/L01 service, which calls Rotterdam’s APM Terminals 1, Delta Container Terminal and APM Terminals Maasvlakte 2, before calling Port of Ust-Luga and then Petrolesport and First Container Terminal in St. Petersburg.
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