Ferry group gets one newbuild and orders another

The WDR’s Norderaue nears completion at Neptun The WDR’s 'Norderaue' nears completion at Neptun
Industry Database

A prominent German coastal ferry operator is taking delivery of one new eco-friendly monohull ferry while placing an order for a very different new catamaran.

Wyker Dampfschiff-Reederei Föhr-Amrum (WDR), on the North Frisian island of Föhr, said its 75.88m monohull Norderaue was likely to be delivered around the turn of the year. That will be several months earlier than originally planned and well in time for the 2018 ferry season. The WDR broke with tradition by announcing the name early and added it will be the first in the fleet to be so-called.

Norderaue will also be the third double-ended ferry for WDR in recent years and has been built at Meyer Group subsidiary Neptun Werft in Warnemünde. Like its predecessor Schleswig-Holstein it has been constructed to “Blauer Engel” eco-friendly RAL-UZ 141 ship design and RAL-UZ 110 ship operation specifications. The first ship in the trio, Uthlande, was built at Hamburg’s JJ Sietas shipyard in 2010.

The 16.4m wide Norderaue will have the same dimensions but be a modified version of the Schleswig-Holstein, which Neptun completed in 2011 for shallows service between the North Frisian islands of Föhr and Amrum. It will also carry maximum 1,200 passengers, but its car deck will be the first on a WDR ferry with four lanes for trucks, meaning it will accommodate 350 cars and 280 trucks and be better able to meet island supply demands.

As with its two predecessors, WDR has chosen Caterpillar and Voith Schneider propulsion for the new catamaran. The owner’s Christ Tholund told Maritime Journal Norderaue will carry four Caterpillar 3508C Series main engines of 578 bkW/1200rpm and four Voith 16R5-EC/100 propeller drives. It will also have three Caterpillar C7.1 auxiliaries.

Meanwhile the engines for the WDR’s just announced new 34.15 x 10.5m catamaran ferry had not been decided when news of the order was released, according to the WDR’s Tholund. However it is known the aluminium newbuild, being built by Holland’s Scheepswerf Talsma, will have two engines - one in each hull – and a bow thruster. It will use marine gas-oil, draw 1.4m and have a top speed of about 20 knots in calm water. For delivery in February 2019 it will be for 150-250 passengers without cars.

Yard owner Jelle Talsma said the WDR would also be seeking “Blauer Engel” certification for the new catamaran. He added the order was “a milestone” for his small family facility and revealed it was co-operating with Conoship in Groningen on the design of the new ship. He also noted that the WDR had for decades built all its ships in Germany. Neptun is however busy for the foreseeable future with engine room components for Meyer and inland cruise ships for Viking.

By Tom Todd

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