NOVEMBER 23, 2016— Publicly traded Viking Line Abp, Helsinki, Finland, has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with the Chinese shipyard Xiamen Shipbuilding Industry Co. Ltd for the construction of a 2,800-passenger, LNG-fueled cruise ferry to be delivered in the spring of 2020. Viking Line says the goal is to reach a final agreement in spring of 2017. The total investment is about 190 million EUROS. The LOI also includes an option for an additional vessel.
Viking Line says the 63,000 grt vessel will be a collaborative project, and the plan is to engage a number of Finnish and other European suppliers, including ship designer Deltamarin, and propulsion and equipment specialists Wärtsilä and ABB Marine. Viking Line says it will hire Scandinavian architects for the interior design.
Operating on LNG as a marine fuel is nothing new for Viking Line. It introduced the 2,800-passenger Viking Grace on the Stockholm to Turku route in 2013. The Viking Grace is able to operate on three fuels: HFO, diesel, and LNG. When running on LNG, the Viking Grace can meet all of the new emission regulations in the Baltic Sea Sulfur Emissions Control Area (SECA).
Viking Line intends to leverage its experience with the Viking Grace for the new vessel. “Our intention is for the (new) vessel to run on liquefied natural gas (LNG),” says Viking Line CEO Jan Hanses. “We have excellent experience with this from the M/S Viking Grace, the first large LNG-powered passenger vessel in the world. Great emphasis has been placed in the planning work on environmentally sound solutions, including new innovative energy-efficient applications. Many years of planning work have gone into this newbuilding project in conjunction with the European Union’s Motorways of the Seas project under the scope of the Connecting Europe Facility funding instrument, which has also included the Port of Turku and the Ports of Stockholm.”
The cruise ferry will serve the Turku (Finland)-Åland Islands (Finland)-Stockholm (Sweden) route. With a length of 218 meters , the cruise ferry will also have cargo lane capacity of 1,500 meters.