Italian ferry operator Tirrenia
has been awarded Rina’s COMFORT class notation for two high speed ferries. The 1,800-passenger 43 knot Scorpio, and the recently built 2,700-passenger 29 knot Bithya, have been recognized by Italian classification society RINA as compliant with COMFORT Class.
The certification has been awarded to the two ships following a comprehensive series of tests carried out during normal operations at sea. Scorpio serves the Civitavecchia to Olbia route and Bithya serves the Genova to Porto Torres route. At the end of the tests, the ships have been found compliant with the noise and vibration limits established by RINA to ensure an outstanding level of passenger comfort.
RINA's criteria for granting the COMFORT Class are based on the most updated international standards issued by the IMO and the ISO, developed by RINA in 1999 for HSC and in 2000 for other passenger ships.
Tirrenia's spokesman says, "It is with great satisfaction that we announce this achievement, particularly for Bithya, a fast ferry for which, due to its high service speed and novel design, meeting RINA's COMFORT Class is a technological challenge. Achieving this demonstrates the attention we give to the quality of our services and to our customers."
Mario Dogliani, head of Innovation, Research & Products of RINA's Ship
Division adds, "The Comfort Class is becoming a standard among passenger ship operators. RINA's portfolio already includes five high-speed craft, several pleasure craft, two cruise ships (soon to be five) and now with Bithya, a fast ferry of a new concept, we cover the whole range of passenger ships."
The COMFORT Class adds to the series of specialised class notations recently developed by RINA to certify the most significant characteristics and performance standards of passenger ships.
RINA has particular expertise in the passenger ship sector for both cruiseships and ferries. At present, forty percent of cruise ship newbuildings are built under RINA supervision
. The COMFORT class notation was adopted for high-speed vessels in 1999. Three more cruise ships are currently waiting for COMFORT class notation.