Wight Shipyard to Build New Danube River Ferry
U.K. shipbuilder Wight Shipyard Co has secured an order to build a new 39-meter low wash, high-speed catamaran ferry for operation by Twin City Liner on the Danube River between Vienna and Bratislava.
The new vessel is scheduled to be delivered in time for the 2019 summer season, starting at the end of March.
Incat Crowther said it was selected as the designer after its staff viewed the operation on the Danube first-hand, affording a detailed understanding of the complex operational requirements. The Danube presents a challenging operating environment with currents up to 8 knots, water depths in the main navigation channel as low as 100 cm. The resulting vessel design has low draft, minimal wake / wash, low air draft and a hull form designed for restricted waters where high current and debris are encountered.
The hull is designed to be highly efficient and operate at level trim, giving the vessel a top speed of 38 knots and a reliable service speed of 32 knots, according to thr designer. Performance is aided by custom-designed interceptors. The vessel’s structural design uses advanced engineering to reduce weight while remaining robust. A specific anchoring system has been developed to assist docking in high current conditions.
Passengers will board the new craft via midship doors port and starboard and enter a bright and airy main cabin capable of seating up to 185 passengers. A kiosk providing a range of snacks and refreshments will be 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 center staircase in the main cabin as well as two staircases aft on the open deck. External seating will be 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.
The vessel will be powered by a quartet of Scania DI16 main engines, each producing 809kW, driving Rolls Royce S40-3 water jets. Large hatches over the main engines and gearboxes enhance maintenance access. The engine rooms 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.
According to Wight Shipyard, the order follows a successful 2017; at the end of August Red Funnel confirmed an order for a second 41 meter high speed passenger ferry, followed soon after when Scotland’s Jacobite Cruises placed an order for a 21 meter day cruise catamaran for Loch Ness.
“This order for 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,” said Wight Shipyard CEO, Peter Morton.
“Our strong order book is a big vote of confidence for our Isle of Wight shipwrights, the marine industry and indeed the U.K. economy,” Morton added.
“Since 2006 Central Danube Region Marketing & Development GmbH has been operating successfully with more than 148,000 passengers experiencing the service between Vienna and Bratislava each year using two high speed catamarans,” said Dr. Gerd Krämer, Managing Director of Twin City Liner.
“With this confirmed order, 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,” Krämer said.