Mercury Clipper pictured during her journey from the Isle of Wight to London (Image: MBNA Thames Clippers)
MBNA Thames Clippers’ new Mercury Clipper embarked on her 200-nautical-mile journey from Wight Shipyard Co on the Isle of Wight to London, UK on 21 June 2017.
Six crew members with more than 80 years of combined experience manned the new passenger ferry during the 12-hour journey, operating her at an average speed of 20 knots. Travelling along the English coast, the vessel boat sailed past several landmarks – including Spinnaker Tower at Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth, Brighton Pier and the White Cliffs of Dover – to her new homeport at Trinity Buoy Wharf in east London.
Mercury Clipper is one of two new 172-passenger ferries that were commissioned from Wight Shipyard Co for £6.3 million in what is the largest fast ferry order for a UK shipyard in more than 20 years.
“It’s fantastic that we were able to build these ultra-high specification catamarans here in the UK,” said Sean Collins, MBNA Thames Clippers’ co-founder and CEO. “This build marks a significant investment in MBNA Thames Clippers and London’s river network and I’m proud of it enabling investment in our team too.”
Mercury Clipper and Jupiter Clipper took 10 months to build, creating more than 75 new jobs across the Isle of Wight and London and involving more than 100 local suppliers from across the South of England.
Together, the newbuilds will increase MBNA Thames Clippers’ capacity by 14%, giving the operator the biggest fast commercial passenger fleet operating solely in English waters. Mercury Clipper will enter service late June, while Jupiter Clipper enter service by early August 2017.
“Mercury and Jupiter Clipper join the fleet following the two boats we added in late 2015 and combined, the four mark a 30% growth in our fleet,” said Collins. “Along with continued pier additions to the route, we are committed to ongoing investment in the capital’s growing river network.”
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