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Wagenborg Passagiersdiensten asks minister to agree to a change to the timetable due to insufficiently safe navigation channels

1 June 2023

Due to the continuous deterioration of the channels to Ameland and Schiermonnikoog, WPD has been confronted with instability and inadequate dimensions of both channels. Nevertheless, the shipping company has managed to continue operating at the limit of what is still responsible for a long time, in order to fulfil its obligations under the concession granted by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management as effectively and safely as possible. However, despite the extra dredging capacity that was recently deployed, the channels do not have the agreed minimum width and depth, and one of the fast ferry services was recently stranded, which we considered to be a serious incident.

As a result, the shipping company considers it no longer possible to operate the existing timetable safely and responsibly under the current circumstances. A recent research report by Marin into the dimensions of the channel between Ameland and Holwerd confirms that optimal and safe use in two directions is no longer possible at the moment.

WPD has therefore requested the contracting authority, by letter of 26 May 2023, to agree to an interim structural change to the ferry service between Ameland and Holwerd, and between Schiermonnikoog and Lauwersoog, within the meaning of Article 1.3, under h, of the Terms of Reference of the Transport Concession “Waddenveren Oost”. As a result, the channels will only be used one way (i.e. one ship in the channel at one time, no passing of ships) by the ferry service and the fast ferry service.

The ministry has confirmed receipt of our request and will respond as soon as possible. Until further notice of a decision on/approval of our request, the current timetables for the Ameland-Holwerd and Lauwersoog-Schiermonnikoog services will remain in force.


- Letter DGMO