Passenger Vessel News Roundup | October 12 – Chinese inland tour boats, Swedish autonomous Ro-Paxes and more


A Belgian operator formally names a new inland ferry while a recently completed large Ro-Pax enters service on Japan’s inter-island routes. A fleet of electric tour boats will soon begin sailing inland waters in China. Finally, a Swedish government agency places an order for ferries fitted with autonomous navigation technology.

Belgium’s DAB Vloot christens newest electric ferry

Photo: DAB Vloot

Flemish government-owned inland waterways transport company DAB Vloot recently christened its newest electric ferry.

Raveel Ontmoet Ensor was built by Estonia-based Baltic Workboats. It has a length of 22 metres, a beam of six metres, and space for 40 bicycles and 100 passengers including five wheelchair-bound individuals.

The electric propulsion will deliver a speed of 8.6 knots.

New fleet of electric tour boats enter service on Shanghai’s Suzhou Creek

Photo: China Classification Society

Chinese tour vessel operator Shanghai Jiushi Suzhou Creek Tourism Development Company has begun sailings of a new fleet of electric inland sightseeing boats.

The first 12 boats to enter service are each fitted with twin outboards powered by lithium iron phosphate batteries. Their area of operations encompasses the 21-kilometre-long Suzhou Creek that passes through Shanghai.

Design work on the vessels was done in compliance to China Classification Society rules.

Japanese operator acquires second large Ro-Pax in series


Japanese transport company Miyazaki Car Ferry has taken delivery of a new large Ro-Pax ferry built by Naikai Zosen Corporation.

Ferry Rokko is a sister vessel to Ferry Takachiho, which was delivered earlier this year.

The newbuild measures 194 by 28 metres and has capacity for 576 passengers and up to 1,972 lane metres of freight. Two JFE-SEMT Pielstick 12PC2-6B diesel engines propel the vessel to a maximum speed of 23 knots.

Swedish Transport Administration orders autonomous ferries from Dutch shipyard

Photo: Swedish Transport Administration

The Swedish Transport Administration has awarded the Holland Shipyards Group a contract for the construction of two autonomous electric Ro-Pax ferries in a series plus options for two additional sister vessels.

Each ferry will measure 86 by 14.24 metres and will be capable of carrying up to 60 vehicles as well as passengers.

The ferries will be operated remotely from a control centre in Stockholm. However, crews will remain on board to immediately assume control if needed.

Click here to read other news stories, features, opinion articles, and vessel reviews as part of this month’s Passenger Vessel Week.

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