Virtu Ferries confirmed to Ferry Shipping News to have signed a Letter of Intent with Seachange for their Foil 40 electric ropax hydrofoil with plans to start operating the vessel between both Valletta (Malta) and Pozzallo (Italy), and between Valletta and Gozo.
Manufactured from carbon composite, the fully electric Foil 40 by Seachange will be the first hydrofoil capable of carrying both passengers and vehicles. The 40-meter vessel with a capacity for 250 passengers and 200 lane metres for vehicles and freight, will sail at a speed of 45 knots.
The first Foil 40 vessel is expected to be in service by 2025.
With 6m long struts lifting the hulls out of the water, and advanced control algorithms, the Foil 40 will allow for sailings in sea conditions with a swell of up to five meters, offering great seakeeping and a smooth ride.
A prototype 24m version of the Foil 40, which is already under construction, is set to start o operation in 2023 on the Cook Strait between the North and South Islands of New Zealand.