After three years of solid growth on the route between Kristiansand (Norway) and Hirtshals (Denmark), the Norwegian shipping company Fjord Line invests in a new high-speed catamaran ferry. The investment will improve the Fjord Line offerings in regard to higher capacity, increased comfort, more departures and a stretched sailing season compared to the present service.
"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.
The Australian shipbuilder Austal Ships Pty Ltd has been commissioned to build the ship, which will represent a new technological standard and provide clear environmental gains on the route. The vessel will be ready to enter into revenue service from the 2020-season.
"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 Ternblom. "Furthermore, the investment will make Fjord Line into a new operator within the freight segment on this corridor."
New concept in the Norwegian and Danish market
The new ship will be able to carry 1,200 passengers and more than 400 cars - almost double from today's capacity. The tax-free shop on board 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," says Ternblom.
Fjord Line will still keep investing in today's catamaran, HSC Fjord Cat, towards the summer season 2020, to ensure a continued competitive product on the Skagerrak corridor.
"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 Ternblom.
Strong development for the Kristiansand-Hirtshals route
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 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," says Rickard Ternblom in Fjord Line.
Technical information about the ship (HSC Fjord Cat)
- Length 109m (91m)
- Width 30.5m (26m)
- Depth under the waterline 3.8m (3.8m)
- Passengers 1,200 (676)
- Passenger vehicles 410 (200)
- Freight >500LM (lane meters) (0 m)
- Speed 40 knots (40 knots)
- Crossing time 2h15min (2h 15min)
Source: Fjord Line