Fred Olsen Express of the Canary Islands has taken delivery of an Austal Auto Express high-speed trimaran ferry, called Bañaderos Express (Austal Hull 395), from Austal Philippines.
The delivery of the 118m-long ferry marks the completion of the $137.87m (A$190m) contract signed in December 2018 for two trimarans.
Austal Philippines officially delivered the vessel to Captain Juan Antonio Rojas and the crew of the Bañaderos Express at the company’s shipyard in Balamban, Cebu.
Following the launch in April, the ferry completed sea trials on the coast of Cebu.
Constructed by Austal Australia, Bajamar Express (Austal Hull 394), the first vessel, was delivered in July 2020.
Austal CEO Paddy Gregg said: “Fred Olsen Express was the world’s first ferry operator to see the unique value of the Austal trimaran hull to deliver a superior customer experience, operating the 127m Benchijigua Express since 2005.
“Now, with Bajamar Express and Bañaderos Express, they have two more trimarans that further enhance their offering to customers and enable the world’s first dedicated trimaran service in the Canary Islands.”
Bañaderos Express has become the third trimaran and fifth Austal high-speed ferry to join the Fred Olsen Express fleet.
Austal Philippines president and general manager Wayne Murray said: “Bañaderos Express is a real milestone for Austal Philippines as it is the 20th vessel constructed here at the Balamban shipyard since we opened in 2012.”
These new ferries have the capacity to carry 1,100 passengers and 276 cars at a cruising speed of more than 37 knots.
They feature kiosks, multiple bars, a retail shop and play area for children.
After completing its initial voyage from the Philippines to the Canary Islands, Bañaderos Express will join Bajamar Express operating on the route between Santa Cruz, Tenerife, and Agaete, Gran Canaria, from Q4 2021.
In the past ten years, Austal has constructed 18 catamarans and two trimarans for operators across the world.
In February, Austal Philippines delivered a 109m-long high-speed catamaran ferry, Austal Hull 419, to Norwegian ferry operator Fjord Line.