Austal delivers high-speed trimaran ferry to Fred. Olsen Express

Austal Limited has announced Austal Philippines has delivered Bañaderos Express, an Austal Auto Express 118 high-speed trimaran ferry, to Fred. Olsen Express of the Canary Islands.

Austal delivers high-speed trimaran ferry to Fred. Olsen Express
Photo: Austal

The delivery signals the completion of the A$190 million contract for two trimarans, announced in December 2018. The first vessel, Bajamar Express (Austal Hull 394) was constructed by Austal Australia and delivered in July 2020.

Captain Juan Antonio Rojas and the crew of Bañaderos Express formally accepted the vessel from Austal Philippines President and General Manager Wayne Murray at a COVID-safe ceremony held at the company’s Balamban, Cebu shipyard.

Austal Limited Chief Executive Officer Paddy Gregg said the delivery of Bañaderos Express to Fred. Olsen Express highlights the trimaran platform’s continued popularity with operators and Austal Philippines’ proven capability to deliver large, high quality vessels.

Mr Gregg said:

“Fred. Olsen Express was the world’s first ferry operator to see the unique value of the Austal trimaran hull to deliver a superior customer experience, operating the 127 metre Benchijigua Express since 2005. Now, with Bajamar Express and Bañaderos Express they have two more trimarans that further enhance their offering to customers and enable the world’s first dedicated trimaran service in the Canary Islands.”

Austal Philippines President and General Manager Wayne Murray thanked his team again for their commitment to safety and productivity in the delivery of Bañaderos Express during the challenging COVID-19 environment, and highlighted the vessel’s significance as the 20th vessel constructed by the shipyard.

Mr Murray said:

“Bañaderos Express is a real milestone for Austal Philippines as it is the 20th vessel constructed here at the Balamban shipyard since we opened in 2012. In just ten years our team have constructed 18 catamarans and two trimarans, including the two largest high-speed ferries ever built in the Philippines, for operators located around the world.”

“This delivery of Bañaderos Express is even more significant, given the challenging COVID-19 environment in which we have operated over the past two years. Austal Philippines has successfully maintained productivity, while keeping our team safe during the pandemic.”

Following the delivery, Fred. Olsen, S.A. Chief Executive Officer Andrés Marín thanked the Austal Philippines team for their outstanding efforts in the construction of Bañaderos Express, which continues Fred. Olsen Express’ commitment to offering passengers superior comfort and stability in the Canary Islands.

Mr Marin said:

“With the addition of Bañaderos Express, Fred. Olsen Express has a unique fleet that now includes three trimarans, offering the very best high-speed ferry experience for our customers.”

“Following the successful introduction of her sister ship, Bajamar Express, which was acknowledged by the Royal Institute of Naval Architects in the UK as one of 2020’s Significant Ships, we’re delighted to be adding this equally impressive, environmentally-friendly new ship to our schedule and look forward to welcoming passengers onboard very soon.”

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.

Following the vessel’s maiden voyage from the Philippines to the Canary Islands, Bañaderos Express will join Bajamar Express to offer a dedicated trimaran service on the route between Santa Cruz, Tenerife, and Agaete, Gran Canaria, from the fourth quarter of CY2021.