Fred Olsen Express of the Canary Islands has taken delivery of an Austal Auto Express high speed trimaran, called Bañaderos Express (Austal Hull 395), from Austal Philippines.
The delivery of the 118m-long ferry marks the completion of the $ 137.87 million (Australian $ 190 million) 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.
After launch in April, the ferry completed sea trials on the Cebu coast.
Built by Austal Australia, the Bajamar Express (Austal Hull 394), the first ship, was delivered in July 2020.
Austal CEO Paddy Gregg said: “Fred Olsen Express was the first ferry operator in the world to see the unique value of the Austal trimaran’s hull for delivering a superior customer experience, operating the 127m Benchijigua Express since 2005.
“Now, together with Bajamar Express and Bañaderos Express, they have two other trimarans which further improve their offer to customers and enable the world’s first dedicated trimaran service in the Canary Islands.”
Bañaderos Express has become the third trimaran and the fifth Austal high-speed ferry to join the Fred Olsen Express fleet.
Austal Philippines President and CEO Wayne Murray said, “Bañaderos Express is a milestone for Austal Philippines as it is the 20th ship built 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 over 37 knots.
They have kiosks, several bars, a retail store and a children’s play area.
After completing its initial trip 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, starting in the fourth quarter of 2021.
Over the past ten years, Austal has built 18 catamarans and two trimarans for operators around the world.
In February, Austal Philippines delivered a 109m long high-speed catamaran ferry, Austal Hull 419, to Norwegian ferry operator Fjord Line.