VESSEL REVIEW | Ryukyu Express 7 – Large Japanese vehicle carrier to operate on Tokyo-Okinawa routes

Photo: A-Line Ferry

Japanese transport company A-Line Ferry recently expanded its fleet with the acquisition of a locally-built Ro-Pax ferry from Naikai Zosen Corporation.

Ryukyu Express 7 has an LOA of 191 metres, a beam of 27 metres, a draught of 6.1 metres, a gross tonnage of 13,650, and five decks for accommodating a variety of freight equivalent to 202 passenger-driven cars and 187 13-metre trailers, which is 60 cars and 40 trailers greater than the capacities of A-Line’s next larger Ro-Ro ships. Loading and unloading of vehicles are accomplished via starboard ramps located at the stern and near the bow.


The ship’s propulsion setup includes a MAN B&W 9S50ME-C8.5 diesel engine that produces 15,930 kW, a bow thruster, a Schilling rudder, and a fin stabiliser to help minimise yaw while underway. The main engine can deliver a service speed of approximately 22 knots. A-Line said that, by increasing the size of the ship and improving the hull shape and the equipment, it can result in lower fuel consumption over the same sailing distance between Tokyo and Okinawa, where the vehicle cargo is to be offloaded.

Ryukyu Express 7 also comes equipped with a vessel monitoring system from JRCS. This system allows shore-based supervisors to receive real-time updates on the ferry’s operating parameters including fuel consumption and engine conditions. The incorporation of this feature will enable A-Line Ferry to better manage the vessel’s daily operations and efficiency by selecting optimal routes and ideal sailing speeds.

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

Ryukyu Express 7
Type of vessel:Ro-Pax ferry
Owner:A-Line Ferry, Japan
Builder:Naikai Zosen Corporation, Japan
Length overall:191 metres
Beam:27 metres
Draught:6.1 metres
Gross tonnage:13,650
Capacity:202 cars; 187 lorries
Main engine:MAN B&W 9S50ME-C8.5, 15,930 kW
Cruising speed:22 knots
Other electronics:JRCS vessel monitoring system
Other equipment installed:Fin stabiliser
Type of fuel:Diesel

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