VESSEL REVIEW | Nalanda – Locally-built ferry to serve India’s Andaman Islands

Best Medium Ferry – Nalanda (Photo: Marinor India)

Cochin Shipyard (CSL) of India recently delivered a new ferry to the country’s Andaman and Nicobar Islands government. Named Nalanda after a famed historical site in what is now Bihar state in eastern India, the newbuild is a near-identical sister of Sindhu, which was handed over by CSL to the same owners in 2021.

Design work on the new ferry was done by local engineering firm Smart Engineering and Design Solutions in collaboration with Knud E. Hansen of Denmark in compliance to American Bureau of Shipping and Indian Register of Shipping rules. Both the hull and the superstructure are of modular design for added safety.

Nalanda has a length of 99.87 metres, a beam of 17.5 metres, a draught of 4.3 metres, a top speed of 16 knots, and a cruising speed of six knots. Space is available for 500 passengers, 66 crewmembers, and up to 150 tonnes of freight, which can be loaded and unloaded via a deck crane. A helicopter pad is also fitted.

Amenities include recreation rooms, a library, a gym, a cafeteria, medical treatment rooms, and a crew galley. Passengers are housed in four cabin classes that include first-class staterooms and a bunk area, which has 346 berths. A common seating area can meanwhile accommodate 74 people. Marinor India provided work on the interiors including the HVAC installation, toilet modules, fire safety equipment, doors, windows, insulation, and sanitary piping systems.

Although it will primarily be operated within the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Nalanda will also sail on occasional trips between the islands and the Indian mainland.

Type of vessel:Ferry
Classification:American Bureau of Shipping; Indian Register of Shipping
Owner:Andaman and Nicobar Administration, India
Designers:Knud E. Hansen, Denmark; Smart Engineering and Design Solutions, India
Builder:Cochin Shipyard, India
Length overall:99.87 metres
Beam:17.5 metres
Draught:4.3 metres
Maximum speed:16 knots
Cruising speed:6.0 knots
Other equipment installed:HVAC
Interior fitout/furnishings:Marinor India
Accommodation:Cabins; recreation rooms; library; gym; cafeteria; medical treatment rooms; a crew galley
Operational area:Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India

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