On Tuesday (today), Virtu Rapid Ferries Ltd announced that it concluded a time charter agreement for the HSC Maria Dolores to operate the Spain-Morocco route.

The agreement, announced through the Malta Stock Exchange by the Board of Directors of Virtu Finance plc, was made with Stena Line Scandinavia AB.

Stena Line is “one of the world’s largest ferry operators,” with over 20 ferry routes, 40 vessels and 33,300 annual sailings.

The vessel previously operated the same route between April 2022 and December 2023 but was, however, redeployed in the Eastern Mediterranean on a short-term charter expiring in March 2024.

Now, after undergoing routine maintenance in Malta, the vessel will resume covering the Spain-Morocco route once again.

Virtu Rapid Finance Ltd forms part of Virtu Maritime Group. In its most recent Annual Report, for the financial year ending 31st December 2023, the company noted that charter hire income for the year was “higher than anticipated.”

Maria Dolores has a capacity of 600 passengers and 65 cars or 95 truck lane metres and 35 cars. While the main deck accommodates 508 passengers in tourist class, the club class on the bridge deck provides seating for 92 passengers.

The vessel operated the company’s Malta-Sicily-Malta service from 2006 to 2010. In 2011, it played a significant role in evacuating citizens from around the world during the Libya Crisis.

Main Image:

HSC Maria Dolores / Virtu Ferries 

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Written By

Anthea Cachia

Anthea has a passion for writing, meeting new people and telling stories. With an insatiable curiosity Anthea loves roaming localities in search of long-established small businesses. When not scribbling away on a notebook or tapping on her computer, you can find her experimenting in the kitchen or traveling.