Norwegian ferry operator Fjord Line has inked a shipbuilding contract with the Australian shipbuilder Austal Ships for a new catamaran ferry.
The newbuild is intended to be put into service on Fjord Line’s route between Kristiansand (Norway) to Hirtshals (Denmark) from the season of 2020, amid three years of solid growth on the route.
“The new catamaran will be the most relaxing and comfortable mode of travel, as well as being the fastest route between Norway and Denmark. With a top speed of 40 knots, the travel time will still be 2 hours and 15 minutes,” says Rickard Ternblom, CEO of Fjord Line AS.
“Furthermore, the investment will make Fjord Line into a new operator within the freight segment on this corridor.”
The new vessel will have a passenger capacity of 1,200 and be able to carry more than 400 passenger vehicles – both representing doubled capacity from today, the company said.
Fjord Line added it would keep investing in today’s catamaran, HSC Fjord Cat, towards the summer season 2020.
“We are continuously working on developing all our products and offerings from Bergen, Stavanger, Kristiansand, Langesund, and Sandefjord. That also means upgrades on today’s ships,” Ternblom commented.
Based on the company’s data, from 2014 to 2016, Fjord Line grew with 26,000 passengers and 7,400 cars on the route between Kristiansand and Hirtshals. In 2016, the shipping company transported 213,000 passengers on the route, divided into 576 sailings.