VESSEL REVIEW | Fort Kronshlot – First in new catamaran series for Russia’s Neva Travel

Photo: United Shipbuilding Corporation
Photo: United Shipbuilding Corporation

Russia's Sredne-Nesvky Shipbuilding Plant has handed over the first vessel in a series of six catamaran ferries ordered by local customer State Transport Leasing Company (STLC) for operation by Saint Petersburg-based Neva Travel Company. Named after a historic fort on Russia's Kotlin Island, Fort Kronshlot will be operated as a commuter vessel between the cities of Saint Petersburg and Kronstadt and as a tourist shuttle between the Saint Petersburg city centre and some nearby island forts and other attractions in Neva Bay.

The newbuild boasts all-aluminium construction, an LOA of 32 metres, a beam of 8.7 metres, a draught of 1.32 metres, a depth of 1.4 metres, and space for three crewmembers and 150 passengers in the main deck cabin and another 50 passengers on the open upper deck. Two 882kW engines deliver a maximum speed of approximately 31 knots.

<em>Photo: United Shipbuilding Corporation</em>
Photo: United Shipbuilding Corporation

The ferry is capable of both inland and coastal sailings, the design being optimised for operation in the waters in and around Saint Petersburg as well as further out into the Gulf of Finland. To comply with the city's transport requirements, the catamaran incorporates a low height to allow safer passage underneath bridges and a hull configuration that generates only minimal wake. The design is also compatible with the existing jetty infrastructure already being used by the fleet of hydrofoil ferries that are currently operating in those same waters.

The main cabin has large panoramic windows offering improved visibility. Access is also possible for passengers with limited mobility.

Fort Kronshlot belongs to the six-strong Project 04580 series of catamarans designed by local engineering company Forss Technology in compliance to Russian Maritime Register of Shipping requirements. All six vessels will be handed over to Neva Travel by 2025.

Some of our readers have expressed disquiet at our publication of reviews and articles describing new vessels from Russia. We at Baird Maritime can understand and sympathise with those views. However, despite the behaviour of the country's leaders, we believe that the maritime world needs to learn of the latest developments in vessel design and construction there.

Fort Kronshlot
Type of vessel:Commuter/Tour ferry
Classification:Russian Maritime Register of Shipping
Owner:State Transport Leasing Company, Russia
Operator:Neva Travel Company, Russia
Designer:Forss Technology, Russia
Builder:Sredne-Nevsky Shipbuilding Plant, Russia
Hull construction material:Aluminium
Superstructure construction material:Aluminium
Deck construction material:Aluminium
Length overall:32 metres
Beam:8.7 metres
Draught:1.32 metres
Depth:1.4 metres
Main engines:2 x 882 kW
Maximum speed:31 knots
Operational areas:Saint Petersburg, Russia; Gulf of Finland

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