Wight Shipyard Co delivered its first export order for a 250-passenger river catamaran to Central Danube Region Marketing & Development GmbH’s Twin City Liner – a tourist service running on the River Danube between Vienna and Bratislava, joining two European capital cities.
The passenger river catamaran was handed over to its new owners in an event hosted by Wight Shipyard chief executive Peter Morton.
The 39-m vessel is Wight Shipyard’s sixth ferry in two years and comes on the back of successful deliveries in 2018 to Red Funnel for a second 41-m high-speed passenger ferry, followed swiftly after with Scotland’s Jacobite Cruises 21-m day cruise catamaran for Loch Ness.
“Twin City Liner in Vienna, our first export order, follows domestic orders for Red Funnel and MBNA Thames Clippers, both of which we secured against international competition,” says Mr Morton.
“Our reputation for building the finest high-speed ferries in the world is spreading, making the prospects for Wight Shipyard look healthy. Our strong orderbook is a big vote of confidence for our Isle of Wight shipwrights, the marine industry and indeed the UK economy.”
The new vessel is a low-wash round bilge catamaran designed by Incat Crowther. The Danube presents a challenging operating environment with currents up to 8 knots and water depths in the main navigation channel as low as 100 cm. The hull form is designed to cope with water conditions reasonably expected on the river, being able to resist floating timber and debris. As a restricted waterway it is imperative that wave wash is minimised.
Passengers board the new craft via midship doors port and starboard and enter a bright and airy main cabin capable of seating up to 186 passengers. A kiosk providing a range of snacks and refreshments is provided aft on the starboard side. On the port side toilets are provided, one of which is for disabled customers.
Above, the upper deck is accessed from a centre staircase in the main cabin as well as two staircases aft on the open deck. External seating is provided for 29 passengers while aft of the elevated wheelhouse interior seating is available for 35 passengers. Being a commuter ferry as well as a cruise vessel, there will be space for 12 bikes on the aft deck.
In the hulls, the enginerooms are designed to provide crews with maximum access with all machinery arranged in the same space. The enginerooms as well as the jet rooms are designed so the engines, generators and water jets can be removed without slipping the vessel or damaging the superstructure or hull.
The vessel is powered by four Scania DI16 072M main engines, each producing 809 kW at 2300 rpm. Capable of reaching a maximum speed of 38 knots, the vessel will sail on the Danube at a service speed of 32.4 knots at modest MCR.
Twin City Liner managing director Dr Gerd Krämer said “With this new vessel, we will cater for projected traffic growth, achieve much better operating economies of scale, greatly reduce our environmental footprint and at the same time be able to offer a comfortable and exciting high-speed transit along this beautiful waterway.”
The new vessel has been delivered in good time for the 2019 summer season, starting at the end of March.