The French regional authority in Loire, Région des Pays de la Loire, has awarded a shipbuilding tender to Piriou Shipyard for the design and construction of a coastal ferry to service Yeu Island, on the French Atlantic coast
The new ferry will replace Yeu Island’s existing vessel Insula Oya II in 2022, after the vessel’s 40 years of continuous operation.
Piriou Shipyard partnered with French design office Stirling Design International (SDI), a specialist in transportation design and naval architecture, throughout the competitive tender process which began in 2019. The design firm contributed to the development of the ship concept and architecture, engineering, external design and interior design of passenger lounges.
With the newbuilding, shipowner Région des Pays de la Loire and ship operator Compagnie Yeu Continent will see a 40% increase in overall capacity, including larger roro space, additional cargo space on deck and in holds, and additional passenger capacity.
A statement from the shipbuilding partners said passenger comfort "has been addressed with care during the design of the spacious lounges" and that "improved seakeeping capabilities will be welcomed by all ship users".
The group said the vessel’s noise and air emissions will be reduced during port calls due to a cold ironing system installed on board and in the ports the vessel visits. With the systems in place, diesel engines will be turned off in port, contributing to operational decarbonisation, the statement said. The design referenced ships including Insula Oya built in 1935 and Président Auguste Durand built in 1961 for conceptual development, underlining the vertical superstructure forward and aerial views from the upper bridge. Ship styling will be inspired by passenger cargo vessels of the early 20th century, the group’s statement said.
Passenger lounge design is in line with traditional veneer wood ship interiors with a strong trend towards warm, modern materials. Two separate passenger lounges are provided, and an open deck lounge on upper deck aft.
The ship specification also includes enhanced cargo facilities on board, with the space to accommodate larger containers and 19-tonne trucks on roro spaces fore and aft.
The vessel’s steel construction will begin in 2021 with a delivery date in 2022.