Mediterranean’s largest RoPax cat delivered

'Saint John Paul II' achieved speeds in excess of 38 knots running at 85 percent power 'Saint John Paul II' achieved speeds in excess of 38 knots running at 85 percent power
Industry Database

Tasmanian shipbuilder Incat has recently been celebrating the delivery of its latest large fast ferry, a 110 metre catamaran for Virtu Ferries of Malta.

Incat Hull 089 left Hobart on Wednesday 6th February and arrival in Grand Harbour, Valletta was expected before the end of the month.

The Saint John Paul II is the 44th large commercial fast ferry delivered by Incat and the sixth in excess of 5,500 gross tonnes in the past decade; a decade also shared with 19 other Incat newbuilds of smaller passenger ferries and support vessels.

Incat Chairman Robert Clifford and Incat executives were joined in Hobart by Virtu Ferries executives Francis Portelli and Matthew Portelli to see the Saint John Paul II off on her delivery voyage via the Indian Ocean, Red Sea and the Suez Canal. “The 110 metre wave piercing catamaran, one of the largest, and most revolutionary built by the yard is the first Incat newbuild vessel to join the Virtu fleet,” says Robert Clifford.

“Virtu Ferries was seeking increased reliability, sea keeping, passenger comfort, capacity and economy with less operational downtime than vessels in its current fleet. They knew exactly what they wanted and, with the benefit of extensive tank testing and studies, we believe we have turned that vision into reality with Saint John Paul II,” he says.

“As an island nation with a strong and growing economy it is imperative that Virtu Ferries’ year-round lifeline passenger and freight services are reliable,” explains Virtu Ferries Chairman and Owner, Francis Portelli.

“During the winter months we can experience very strong winds and high waves on our route. So we wanted a hull design developed to minimise fuel consumption and to increase passenger comfort and seakeeping performance”.

The Saint John Paul II was completed under DNV GL classification society rules and she complies with IMO HSC Code 2000 rules, Malta flag statutory requirements and Italian port state requirements.

At 1,000 tonnes deadweight, the vessel is the largest RoPax catamaran ever built for operation in the Mediterranean and is the second largest in the world.

On contractual speed trials off the southern coast of Tasmania Saint John Paul II achieved speeds in excess of 38 knots running at 85 percent power and ballasted to 600 tonnes deadweight.

By Jake Frith

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