The second of two Austal Auto Express 118 trimarans constructed for Fred. Olsen Express of the Canary Islands has completed a rigorous program of sea trials in Cebu, Philippines.
After launching in April, Bañaderos Express (Austal Hull 395) has successfully completed sea trials off the coast of Balamban, Cebu, prior to the planned delivery of the vessel in September 2021.
Bañaderos Express has easily achieved contract speed of 37.5 knots during multiple trials, confirming the vessel’s outstanding capability to achieve high-speed performance while delivering optimum comfort for passengers and crew.
Austal Limited Chief Executive Officer Paddy Gregg said the results of the Bañaderos Express sea trials were another great demonstration of the Austal trimaran’s unique capabilities and exceptional seakeeping characteristics.
“Austal’s proven trimaran hull design and integrated smart-ship technology, including MARINELINK-Smart and Motion Control System help deliver high speed performance and improved seakeeping, with greater passenger comfort,” Mr Gregg said.
“The new Bañaderos Express is the sister ship to the Bajamar Express, constructed in Australia and delivered in 2020. Fred. Olsen Express recently celebrated the first year anniversary of Bajamar Express’ operations which included an impressive 2,000 trips, transporting 307,000 passengers, 129,000 vehicles and 222,000 line metres of cargo vehicles, delivered on schedule on 97% of journeys.
“The 9/10 customer satisfaction rating achieved for Bajamar Express bodes very well for the new Bañaderos Express and further highlights the effectiveness of the trimaran hull form, Austal’s design and construction capabilities, and of course Fred. Olsen Express’ impeccable service standards,” he added.
Fred. Olsen S.A. Chief Executive Officer Andrés Marín said that the completion of Bañaderos Express’ sea trials was significant, as it signals the vessel’s delivery and start of operations in the Canary Islands is imminent.
“We are absolutely confident that Bañaderos Express’ will make a big difference to the connectivity between Gran Canaria and Tenerife Islands; providing residents and tourists with an all-trimaran service, proven to be the most comfortable way to travel by sea. The much anticipated arrival of Bañaderos Express will, in fact, position the Canary Islands at the forefront of maritime connectivity, with the largest fleet of trimaran ferries worldwide,” Mr. Marín said.
“Her sister ship, Bajamar Express, has already proven to be a very popular and successful addition to the Fred.Olsen Express fleet, with outstanding performance over the past 12 months of operation.
“Named as a “Significant Ship of 2020” by the Royal Institute of Naval Architects in the UK, Bajamar Express has also been recognised by thousands of our customers who have highlighted the comfort of the trimaran, the exceptional customer experience provided by our Fred.Olsen Express crew and the ship’s great reliability and punctuality.
“We now look forward to the Bañaderos Express’ delivery ceremony at Austal Philippines, and her maiden voyage to the Canary Islands, which will be shared in real time through our website and social media profiles. The voyage by Bajamar Express from Australia had more than 15,000 viewers, and this time we are aware the expectation is even higher,” he added.
Capable of transporting 1,100 passengers and 276 cars at a cruising speed of over 37 knots, the new ferries for Fred. Olsen Express feature class-leading interior amenities and facilities, including multiple bars, kiosks, a retail shop and children’s play area and will operate on Fred. Olsen Express’ Santa Cruz, Tenerife, and Agaete, Gran Canaria, routes in the Canary Islands in the fourth quarter of CY2021.