Austal Australasia Pty Ltd has been awarded a €20.5 million contract to design and build a 66m high-speed catamaran ferry for The Degage Group of French Polynesia.
Work will commence on the new ferry in August 2021 at Austal Vietnam, with a scheduled delivery in the first half of 2023.
Over two passenger decks, the vessel can accommodate 574 passengers, with an additional 80 seats available on an external sun deck. Crew accommodation includes 7 two-berth cabins and 2 single-berth cabins.
The vessel has four passenger access ramps and can carry up to 16 tonnes of cargo loaded via two cranes.
To be fitted with four diesel engines and four waterjets, as well as Austal’s Motion Control System (including active interceptors and T-foils) and the latest Marinelink and Marinelink-Smart programs, the new ferry will have a contracted top speed of 35.8 knots and a range of 360 nautical miles.
Austal has previously designed and built five vessels for The Degage Group, comprising two 69 metre monohull cruise ships (Austal Hulls 172 and 173), a 56 metre vehicle passenger catamaran ferry (Austal Hull 266), an 80 metre vehicle passenger catamaran ferry (Austal Hull 201) and a 49 metre vehicle passenger ferry (Hull 421).
The new ferry will operate as the APETAHI EXPRESS, between Papeete (Tahiti) and Vaitape (Bora Bora).