The production of Viking XPRS, a new type of fast car passenger ferry, was
started in Aker Yards, Turku on October 3 by Nils-Erik Eklund, CEO
Viking Line pushing the button of the cutting machine with Yrjö Julin,
President of Aker Yards Cruise & Ferries wittnessing the forming of the
first plate for Aker Yards newbuilding No. 1358.
The contract by Aker Yards and Viking Line Abp was signed on November 30, 2005 to deliver this fast ferry in January 2008.The value of the contract is approximately $164.9m (130 million euro.)
The new ferry represents an entirely new concept in Baltic Sea ferry
service, bringing together the best qualities of conventional car ferries
and catamarans. The emphasis will be on customer comfort, eg. modern
innovative restaurants and a high class conference centre.
The environmentally friendly fast ferry designed to carry passengers and
cars between Helsinki and Tallinn is intended for year-around service
regardless of weather conditions. The 607 x 91 ft. vessel will be taking 2,500 passengers, and driven by 40 MW engines giving the vessel a speed of 25 knots.