Australia’s TT-Line Company, operators of Spirit of Tasmania, will order two brand new purpose-built ships to replace the current Spirit of Tasmania fleet by 2021, Chairman Mike Grainger and Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman announced on Friday.
Mr Grainger said the company had carefully assessed vessel types and fleet configurations over the past several years to determine the most appropriate vessel to operate daily crossings on Bass Strait.
“We looked at capacity, customer expectations, operating speed, seakeeping properties for Bass Strait, capital and operating costs and operational efficiency,” he said.
“Further, independent expert industry modelling for future demand for travel on the Spirits projected a continuation of strong passenger and freight growth.”
Mr Grainger said Spirit of Tasmania was an essential link between the south-eastern Australian states of Tasmania and Victoria, connecting visitors, families and industry.
“We have seen continued growth in passenger numbers over the past few years and the demand for vehicle and freight continues to be exceptionally high,” he said.
“These two new ships will have substantially larger capacity for passengers, passenger vehicles and freight.”
Built in 1998, the ships in the current fleet, Spirit of Tasmania I and Spirit of Tasmania II, underwent a major refurbishment in 2015 and will continue operating until the new vessels are delivered.
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