Fjord Line opts for Austal Ships to build new catamaran ferry

Norwegian Shipping company Fjord Line has announced its investment in new tonnage which will see its capacity on the fastest route between Norway and Denmark double.

The new high-speed catamaran ferry, to be built by Australian shipbuilder Austal Ships, will have the capacity to carry 1,200 passangers and more than 400 cars. Scheduled for a 2020 delivery, the 109m long, 30.5m wide ferry is expected to operate along the Kristiansand-Hirtshals route.

“This is a new milestone in Fjord Line's development. We have been successful on the route in recent years and are delighted to have ordered a new ship,” says Rickard Ternblom, CEO of Fjord Line AS.

“During the development phase, comfort has been important to us. 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 Mr Ternblom. “Furthermore, the investment will make Fjord Line into a new operator within the freight segment on this corridor.”

The tax-free shop on board the new vessel will be twice as large compared with today’s vessel and guests will be able to choose from three exciting food concepts on their journey.

“The ship is light and spacious with a clear Scandinavian profile on the décor. Children and families with children will also have their own section where kids can bustle around on their own accord. This will constitute a whole new ferry experience in the Norwegian and Danish markets,” added Mr Ternblom.

Fjord Line said it will still keep investing in its current catamaran, HSC Fjord Cat, towards the summer season 2020, to ensure a continued competitive product on the Skagerrak corridor.

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.

“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,” says Mr Ternblom. “We want to be innovative in the development of new products and routes, an overarching core strategy we hope will ensure continued growth for many years to come.”