Passenger Vessel News Roundup | December 14 – Electric catamaran ferries for Belgium and Singapore plus US cruise vessels

Passenger Vessel News Roundup | December 14 – Electric catamaran ferries for Belgium and Singapore plus US cruise vessels

A Flemish operator welcomes a new ferry to its inland transport fleet as a Finnish yard launches a new large cruise ship for Caribbean sailings. A series of fully-electric fast catamarans will begin operational sailings in Singapore early next year. Lastly, a Danish design firm unveils a new ferry concept for cruise sailings in US rivers.

Flemish operator acquires second ferry in series

<em>Photo: Baltic Workboats</em>
Photo: Baltic Workboats

Flemish state-owned transport company DAB Vloot has taken delivery of the second catamaran ferry in a series ordered from Estonian builder Baltic Workboats.

Op Stroom is a sister vessel of Marnix Van Sint-Aldegonde, which was handed over to DAB Vloot in 2021. However, unlike the earlier ferry, the newbuild is powered by a hybrid electric propulsion system instead of all-diesel propulsion.

The new ferry has a length of 30 metres and capacity for 150 passengers and 75 bicycles. Power is provided by a Corvus Energy 395kWh battery pack.

Baltic Workboats said Op Stroom will be the first fully electric ferry in operation in Antwerp.

Future Royal Caribbean ship floated out in Finland

<em>Photo: Meyer Turku</em>
Photo: Meyer Turku

Finnish shipyard Meyer Turku has floated out a new large cruise ship for US-based Royal Caribbean International.

The future Icon of the Seas will be handed over to Royal Caribbean at the end of 2023 and will set sail on its first voyage the following January. The ship will cruise from Miami year-round in the Eastern and Western Caribbean.

Once completed, the ship will measure 1,198 feet (365 metres) long and will have capacity for 5,610 guests in addition to a 2,350-strong crew.

Danish firm unveils Mississippi River cruise ferry design

<em>Photo: Knud E. Hansen</em>
Photo: Knud E. Hansen

Danish naval architecture firm Knud E. Hansen has unveiled a new design of cruise ferry for sailings in the Mississippi River and other inland waterways in the United States.

The 328-foot (100-metre) vessel will be able to transport 220 passengers and 20 cars and will have a maximum endurance of 14 days.

The propulsion and manoeuvring system will consist of two stern azimuthing electric thruster units in separate compartments and one pump jet for improved manoeuvrability in a bow compartment. The machinery arrangement will be a hybrid system of four high-speed diesel generators combined with a battery storage system to supply propulsive power and all remaining electrical load requirements.

The vessel will feature seven decks and will be divided into three main fire zones. Facilities will include staterooms, a bar, a restaurant, a library, a salon, a fitness centre, and a retail shop.

New electric ferry fleet under development in Singapore

<em>Photo: Shell/Penguin International</em>
Photo: Shell/Penguin International

Singaporean shipbuilder Penguin International has begun development on a new fleet of all-electric catamaran ferries scheduled to enter service early next year.

Penguin will own and operate three ferries on behalf of Shell in Singapore. The vessels will ply the route between thel Pasir Panjang ferry terminal and Shell's Energy and Chemicals Park on the southern island of Pulau Bukom.

Each ferry will have capacity for 200 passengers and a cruising speed of 21 knots. Penguin will also supply the vessels' shore charging stations.

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Baird Maritime / Work Boat World