The newbuilds will replace the line's two existing ro-pax ferries (Image: Spirit of Tasmania)
TT-Line Company, which operates Australian ferry line Spirit of Tasmania, is to replace its existing fleet with two new purpose-built ro-pax ferries by 2021.
To be placed in 2018, the order will cover two ferries, each with a capacity for 2,000 passengers, 1,714 lane metres for passenger vehicles and 2,500 lane metres for freight vehicles. This is a significant increase from the capacity of the current Spirit of Tasmania I and Spirit of Tasmania II, which can accommodate 1,400 passengers, 1,000 lane metres for passenger vehicles and 1,800 lane metres for freight.
“We are going to the best builders of ro-paxes in the world, and the best yard will be awarded the contract,” said Mike Grainger, TT-Line Company chairman.
Grainger added that the company had also considered customer expectations, operating speed, sea-keeping properties for Australia’s Bass Strait, capital and operating costs and operational efficiency when designing the vessels.
Built for Superfast Ferries in 1998, the current Spirit of Tasmania I and Spirit of Tasmania II will continue operating until the new vessels are delivered in 2021.