VESSEL REVIEW | Silver Breeze – Cross-strait 144m ferry for eastern Japan
Japanese shipowner Tsugaru Kaikyo Ferry has taken delivery of a new Ro-Pax ferry built by local shipyard Naikai Zosen Corporation.
Designed in compliance to Japanese Government Class II coastal area rules, Silver Breeze is being operated under a bareboat charter with Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha wholly-owned subsidiary Kawasaki Kinkai Kisen Kaisha (K Line) via its Silver Ferry brand. The vessel’s route along the Tsugaru Strait will connect Aomori and Hokkaido prefectures in eastern Japan via the the cities of Hachinohe and Tomakomai.
Silver Breeze is the fifth in a series of luxury Ro-Pax ferries ordered by Tsugaru Kaikyo in 2013 as part of a fleet upgrade program. However, it is the only one of the five vessels to be chartered by another operator as its four earlier sisters are being operated solely by Tsugaru Kaikyo.
The newbuild has a length of 144.1 metres, a beam of 23 metres, a draught of six metres, a gross tonnage of 8,900, a crew complement of 28, and capacity for 400 passengers – compared to 583 passengers on each of its earlier sister vessels – and 70 lorries each measuring 8.5 metres long or 230 passenger-driven cars. Loading and unloading of vehicles and other freight is done via ramps at the stern and on the starboard side near the bow.
One Hitachi-MAN B&W 6S50MC-C8.2 diesel engine with a total installed power of 9,945 kW drives a controllable-pitch propeller to deliver a service speed of 20 knots. To aid in manoeuvring, the vessel relies on a bow thruster and two stern thrusters.
The new ferry also features an increase in the number of private passenger cabins compared to earlier vessels. K Line said this increase was incorporated in compliance to restrictions that are being imposed in Japan to help prevent the further spread of Covid-19. Wifi connectivity is also available in all interior spaces.
Silver Breeze is jointly owned by Tsugaru Kaikyo and the Japan Railway Construction, Transport and Technology Agency (JRTT). The vessel has since replaced the 1988-built ferry Venilia on the Hachinohe-Tomakomai route.
|Type of vessel:
|Japanese Government Class II coastal area
|Tsugaru Kaikyo Ferry, Japan; Japan Railway Construction, Transport and Technology Agency
|Kawasaki Kinkai Kisen Kaisha, Japan
|Naikai Zosen Corporation, Japan
|Hitachi-MAN B&W 6S50MC-C8.2, 9,945 kW
|Type of fuel:
|Tsugaru Strait, Japan