Med Ferry Operator and Korean Shipyard Announce Cruise Ferry Deal
A Mediterranean Ferry Operator and a S. Korean shipyard — What could these two establishments possibly have in common? Indeed, they do share a similar situation in that they both have never been involved with the cruise industry until now. Moby Lines, the Mediterranean ferry operator leg of Italian-based Onorato Group has expanded its offerings with its recent order for a pair of fast conventional cruise ferries with Daewoo Industries of South Korea.
The closing and final decisions on this deal were sealed on Wednesday, June 2 by Young Kyun Shin, chairman Daewoo Industries and Vincenzo Onorato, chairman and owner of the Onorato Group. "These two vessels are of paramount importance for Moby Lines being a part of a development plan foreseeing expansion of both the network of routes served and of the fleet," said Mr. Onorato. Both of the cruise ferries, Moby Wonder and Moby Freedom — the largest passenger ferries to be ordered by a South Korean shipyard — will be constructed by world-wide industrial conglomerate Daewoo at the company's Koje Island situated Okpo Shipyard. Delivery is scheduled for Spring 2001 for short runs along the Mediterranean. "To us this is a very important order," said Mr. Kyun Shin. "It in fact marks the entrance of Daewoo Heavy Industries in the luxury passenger vessel field which we are keen to further develop in the future." Fitted with more than 300 cabins distributed throughout two decks (a separate deck will consist of cruise-style public rooms), the newbuilds will transport 2,000 passengers and 700 cars at a service speed of 29 knots. Main particulars are 587 x 89 ft (179 x 27 m) with a 23 ft. (7 m) draft. The 5,500-dwt twin ferries are equipped to carry approximately 2,000 lane meter of RoRo cargoes.
The owner of 16 ferries, Moby Lines operate services linking the Italian mainland to nearby coastal islands of Sardinia, Corsica and Elba, as well as the supply of port towage services in 10 Italian ports. With a 50-member fleet, family owned Onorato Group is known for its specialization in the ferry trades and towage, salvage and offshore services.