Two new car and passenger ferries will be built for Tasmania-based TT-Line Company Pty Ltd.

'Spirit of Tasmania'

A 'Spirit of Tasmania' vessel in Devonport in 2008. Photo: Bjørn Christian Tørrissen, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

TT-Line Company has signed a contract with Finnish shipyard Rauma Marine Constructions for the delivery of the ferries, designed by naval architecture and marine engineering firm Foreship Ltd. The agreement has been finalised following approval from the Tasmanian Government, with construction set to begin in spring 2022.

“We are delighted to be lending our expertise to the construction of two new Spirit of Tasmania ferries for TT-Line Company,” said project lead, Olli Somerkallio, chief operating officer at Foreship. “This is a unique opportunity to work with an iconic Australian ferry brand while reinforcing our relationship with RMC, an important Finnish shipbuilder. We are looking forward to seeing the vessels take shape.”

Bigger and better

Due to be delivered in late 2023 and late 2024, the new Spirit of Tasmania ferries will be 212m long with a gross tonnage of 48,000 and capacity for 2,000 passengers and crew, making them significantly larger than their predecessors. The steel monohull vessels will feature over 2,500 lane metres of freight capacity and a separate car deck, as well as 284 cabins.

Having developed the concept design for the two ferries, Foreship will continue to support TT-Line during the building process, with service provision to include naval architecture, hydrodynamics, cargo and passenger service concept development, and systems engineering. Foreship will also assist in reviewing design documentation, drawings and plans.

Like the existing ferries, the new ferries will transport passengers between Victoria’s capital city of Melbourne and the northern Tasmanian city of Devonport.

The ferries were originally due to be built by German company Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft (FSG), but the contract was mutually cancelled.

By Rebecca Jeffrey