Australian builder of high-speed craft catamarans Incat has been selected by the Malta-based ferry operator Virtu Ferries to design and build an 110-meter vehicle passenger (RoPax) ferry.
Construction of the vessel will commence in early 2017, with delivery scheduled at the end of 2018.
The new ferry will be the largest high-speed catamaran in the Mediterranean, according to Incat. It is intended for Virtu Ferries’ year-round lifeline service between Malta and Sicily, Italy.
With a service speed of up to 38 knots, the ship will be able to complete the crossing from Malta to Sicily berth to berth in around 90 minutes, according to the shipbuilder.
The design was modeled by Revolution Design and Seaspeed Consulting and then tank tested and optimized at UK-based tank and aerospace testing facility QuinetiQ.
The ferry is to be built under the DNV-GL Classification Society Rules and comply with IMO High Speed Craft HSC 2000, the Malta Flag statutory requirements and Italian Port State requirements.
For its owner, the vessel is said to provide an increase in capacity offering, with 43% more truck capacity, 15% more pax capacity and 7% more car capacity. It will incorporate a three class interior (VIP, Business and Economy) with a total of 1,134 seats, according to Incat.
The new ship would be the 15th fast ferry acquired by Virtu, Incat said.
Virtu Ferries, part of Virtu Holdings Group, operates ferry services on the routes including Malta – Sicily, Venice, Italy – Croatia and Slovenia, and Tarifa, Spain – Tangiers, Morocco.