Passenger Vessel News Roundup | March 24 – A Danish fast ferry, US catamaran cruise ship construction and more


A large catamaran Ro-Pax vessel has been delivered to an operator in Denmark as a new vehicle ferry enters service with a New York-based shipping company. Construction has meanwhile started on a coastal catamaran cruise ship for an American owner. Finally, an Italian shipping line expands its order for hybrid monohull ferries.

Fast catamaran ferry delivered to Denmark’s Molslinjen

Photo: Austal Philippines

Austal Philippines has handed over a new 115-metre catamaran Ro-Pax ferry to Danish operator Molslinjen.

Express 5 can sail at speeds of up to 40 knots. Even during fast transits, noise and vibration in the passenger decks are minimised.

The ferry has capacity for 1,610 passengers and up to 617 lane metres of vehicle cargo and other freight. Facilities include a bistro, bars, and a children’s play area.

New York’s Fire Island Ferries welcomes newbuild to fleet

Photo: Elliott Bay Design Group

New York-based Fire Island Ferries has taken delivery of a vehicle and passenger ferry built by Alabama builder Metal Shark Boats.

Designed by the Elliott Bay Design Group, Fire Island Maid measures 70 by 23 feet (21.3 by seven metres) and features a steel hull, an aluminium superstructure, and a hydraulic ramp for loading and unloading heavy equipment. The aft pilot house accommodates two crew and up to six passengers.

Power is provided by two Cummins QSL9 engines with a ZF control system and Twin Disc gearboxes. Cummins also supplied the ferry’s generator.

Construction begins on American Cruise Lines catamaran ship

Photo: American Cruise Lines

US-based American Cruise Lines (ACL) has confirmed the start of construction of the fourth catamaran cruise ship in a series ordered from Chesapeake Shipbuilding of Maryland.

The future American Legend will be small enough to navigate New England’s harbours and stable enough for the Alaska Inside Passage while their draughts will enable them to sail along the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway. ACL CEO Charles Robertson said the catamarans will operate exclusively in the United States and will focus on small towns.

Like its sisters, the catamaran will have a length of 241 feet (73.4 metres), a beam of 56 feet (17 metres), and accommodations for 109 passengers and 50 crew in single rooms, standard rooms, and suites. There will also be observation areas, a forward lounge, and space for kayaks and a tender.

Italy’s Liberty Lines orders additional hybrid ferries

Italian ferry operator Liberty Lines has expanded its order of 38-metre hybrid monohull passenger ferries designed by an Australian firm, raising the total order from nine to 12.

Each of the twelve new vessels will offer a flexible hybrid drivetrain and will have the ability to enter and leave ports at speeds up to eight knots in zero-emission mode, though the maximum speed will be 30 knots.

Construction of the ferries is underway at Armon Shipyard in Spain. Deliveries are scheduled to commence this year and end in 2026.

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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