Passenger Vessel News Roundup | May 2 – Russian and New Zealand catamarans, French tour boats and Italian-built ocean-going cruise ship

Deliveries include a Norwegian-flagged cruise ship for a US owner, two new sightseeing boats for a French operator, and a ferry that will also operate as a tour vessel in New Zealand. A Russian yard meanwhile floats out the first in a new series of sightseeing catamarans.

New Zealand’s Explore Group welcomes new catamaran tour ferry

Photo: Incat Crowther

Auckland, New Zealand-based tour operator the Explore Group recently took delivery of a new catamaran vessel designed and built in Australia.

Tuhi Rapa has been put into operation in the waters of Auckland Harbour and the Bay of Islands. It is used as both a passenger ferry and a wildlife sightseeing cruise vessel.

The vessel has space for up to 300 passengers plus bicycles across two decks. Facilities include a bar, a refreshments kiosk, and toilets.

Brittany tour operator places two new vessels into service

Photo: Mer et Design

Brittany tour operator Vedettes de Brehat has taken delivery of two new vessels ordered from French shipyard Piriou.

Designed by Mer et Design, Kephrenn and Eneziz each have a length of 25 metres and capacity for 255 passengers. The vessels will also provide commuter services between Northwestern Brittany and nearby Brehat Island.

Power for each vessel is provided by two MAN IMO Tier III engines fitted with selective catalytic reduction and urea injection systems.

Viking Cruises takes delivery of 930-guest ship


Italian shipyard Fincantieri has delivered a new ocean-going cruise ship to Viking Cruises.

Viking Saturn has 465 all-veranda staterooms that can house a total of 930 guests. Other amenities include three pools, numerous al fresco restaurants, and a spa with sauna and snow grotto.

The ship will sail under the Norwegian flag and will spend its maiden season sailing three new itineraries in Scandinavian and Nordic countries, including two 15-day journeys and a 29-day journey.

Russian yard launches catamaran ferry for Saint Petersburg-Kronstadt route

Photo: United Shipbuilding Corporation

Russia’s Sredne-Nesvky Shipbuilding Plant has launched the first vessel in a series of six catamaran ferries ordered by local operator Neva Travel Company.

Named after historic fort on Russia’s Kotlin Island, Fort Kronshlot will be operated between the cities of Saint Petersburg and Kronstadt as both a commuter vessel and a tourist shuttle. The main cabin also features improved accessibility for passengers with limited mobility.

All six ferries in the Project 04580 series will be delivered to Neva Travel by 2025.

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