Passenger Vessel News Roundup | March 15 – Norwegian and UK ferries, a tour boat for the Chinese Arctic and more

Deliveries include a double-ended ferry for a UK operator and a fast catamaran for a Norwegian transport line. Construction is meanwhile underway on a Chinese Arctic tour boat, an LNG-fuelled cruise ship, a catamaran for the French Riviera, and a vehicle and passenger inter-municipal ferry for the US East Coast.

First of two new hybrid Ro-Paxes delivered to P&O Ferries

Photo: P&O Ferries

Chinese shipbuilder CSSC Offshore and Marine Engineering Company (COMEC) has delivered the first in a series of two double-ended, diesel/battery hybrid Ro-Pax vessels ordered by UK operator P&O Ferries.

The 47,000GT, 230-metre-long P&O Pioneer will be operated on P&O Ferries’ Dover-Calais route beginning in May 2023. Sister vessel P&O Liberte, which is still under construction in China, will be deployed on the same route later this year.

The ferry has accommodations for 1,350 passengers and 150 crewmembers.

Norway’s Norled welcomes first fast catamaran in series

Photo: Oma Baatbyggeri

Norwegian transport company Norled recently acquired the first in a new series of three fast catamaran ferries built by local shipyard Oma Baatbyggeri.

The aluminium-hulled, 30-metre-long Frey can transport up to 72 passengers and vehicle freight consisting of either seven cars or a 22-tonne trailer. A hybrid electric propulsion system delivers a service speed of 22 knots.

Oma is scheduled to deliver the second ferry in the same series in May of this year.

Construction starts on sightseeing vessel for Mohe City, China

Photo: China Classification Society

China’s Jiamusi Longjia Shipbuilding has begun construction on a new sightseeing vessel to be operated in the inland waters of Mohe City in northern China.

Mohe County Arctic Village Shenzhou Passenger Ferry Company will operate the vessel, which will have a steel hull, a length of 17 metres, and capacity for 150 passengers.

The vessel will be built in compliance to China Classification Society rules covering operations in the Chinese Arctic.

Princess Cruises’ future LNG-fuelled ship hits the water

Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri has floated out the first vessel in a new class of cruise ships ordered by Carnival Corporation transport line Princess Cruises.

The future Sun Princess will have a gross tonnage of 175,500, capacity for 4,300 guests, and dual-fuel propulsion that can also operate on LNG.

Sun Princess and its yet unnamed sister are the first of the Sphere-class ships ordered by Princess Cruises. Deliveries are scheduled to be completed by 2025.

Foil-equipped catamaran to be built for French Riviera operator

Photo: Mer et Design

French naval architecture firm Mer et Design has begun development on a new catamaran ferry for an unnamed operator in the French Riviera.

R. L. Heloise will have a length of 26 metres, seating for up to 347 passengers, and two engines that will deliver a speed of 20 knots. Notable features include hull-mounted foils to help reduce resistance.

Construction will take place at the facilities of local shipyard Transmetal Industrie. Delivery is scheduled for the spring of 2024.

Keel laid for new ferry for Bridgeport and Port Jefferson Steamboat Company

Photo: Eastern Shipbuilding Group

The Eastern Shipbuilding Group of Panama City, Florida, has laid the keel of a new 302-foot (92-metre) vehicle and passenger ferry slated for the Bridgeport and Port Jefferson Steamboat Company, a subsidiary of New York-based McAllister Towing and Transportation.

The ferry will be operated between Bridgeport, Connecticut, and Port Jefferson, New York, following its delivery in 2024.

The vessel will operate alongside two other ferries also built by Eastern. These vessels include the 1999-built P. T. Barnum and the 2003-built Grand Republic.

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