Berlin is set to begin operation this month (Image: Patrick Kirkby)
Scandlines officially christened the first of its two new hybrid passenger ferries for the Rostock-Gedser route between Germany and Denmark on 3 May.
Named Berlin by Ines Rehberg, the wife of Eckhard Rehberg, a politician in Germany’s CDU party, the vessel was christened in Rostock in front of Scandlines representatives and 150 guests, including politicians, media, business partners and other stakeholders. To mark the occasion, Scandlines also donated €2,500 to Rehberg’s chosen charity, Hanse-Tour-Sonnenschein, which supports children with cancer.
“There have been a few bumps along the road, but I am proud of the final result that we can present today on our oldest route with a history that reaches more than 100 years back in time,” said Søren Poulsgaard Jensen, Scandlines’ CEO. “Scandlines is now able to introduce a top modern passenger and freight ferry that joins the largest fleet of hybrid ferries in the world. As the saying goes, good things come to those who wait.”
Berlin has recently undergone a €140 million conversion at Fayard’s shipyard in Munkebo, Denmark. The ferry has the capacity to carry 1,300 passengers and 460 cars or 96 trucks, more than double the capacity of Prince Joachim, which is currently sailing on the Rostock-Gedser route. When she replaces her predecessor, Berlin will offer more regular departures (every two hours), staying in the harbour for just 15 minutes.
Sister vessel Copenhagen, which is also being converted, will enter operation alongside Berlin late this summer. Both ferries will feature interiors inspired by nature and offer Berlin Xpresso, FoodXpress, an onboard shop, a sun deck and Scandlines Buffet, which seats more than 300 people.
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