Austal launches high-speed ferry for Danish Færgen

By Edward Lundquist at February 09, 2011 08:58
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Austal launches high-speed ferry for Danish Færgen

By Edward Lundquist


Austal has launched Leonora Christina, an 113 metre ferry designed and built in Austal’s shipyard in Henderson, Western Australian, was launched Jan. 28, 2011.  The ferry will carry 1,400 passengers and 357 cars, and travel at speeds of up to 40 knots.

Leonora Christina is Austal’s hull number 246.

According to Austal’s Technical Manager, James Bennett, there were many special requirements with Leonora Christina that resulted in some special design/propulsion considerations.  “The first is compliance with the Danish regulations covering wave wash from fast ferries. This requires computer prediction work and sea trials to demonstrate that the ferry, when operating on her route, will not create waves over a certain size.”

The second is compliance with the Danish regulations covering the noise levels generated by the ferry when on route and in harbor, Bennett says.  “These regulations are extremely tough and require the vessel to be fitted with very large silencers on the main and auxiliary engines. The regulations are so tough that noise suppression is required on ventilation fans for machinery spaces, car deck and hull voids and air-conditioning. Sea trials include very precise noise level measurements with the results being sent in a report to the Danish Ministry of the Environment. This ministry has to sign off on both reports prior to the permit to operate being issued.”

Leonora Christina is powered by four MAN 20V28/33D diesels, built in Augsburg, Germany, by MAN B&W.

“Each main engine is connected to a gearbox via a flexible coupling, which in turn is connected to a waterjet via a carbon fibre shaft,” says Bennett.  “The engines are driving a single waterjet via a shaft so there is no cross connection. The ship is designed to run on all four engines, however if the operator wishes, he can run the vessel on a lesser number of engines, albeit at a lower speed.”

The vessel is fitted with four Swedish-built model 125 SIIINP Rolls Royce KaMeWa waterjets, Bennett says.  

The vessel is owned by Danish company Færgen (formerly Nordic Ferry Services), and will be operated by Bornholmer Færgen, a subsidiary of Færgen.  Bornholmer Færgen currently operates a fleet of three ships and has been transporting passengers to the Danish island of Bornholm since 1866.

Leonora Christina will join the 86 metre Austal-built catamaran, Villum Clausen, which has been operating the route between Rønne on the Danish island of Bornholm and Ystad in south east Sweden for over ten years.   Leonora Christina will fly the Danish flag.

Bennett says this project is the result of a Danish Government tender which is held every five years. “Due to the size of the vessel, we would not expect the next tender will demand a new larger (or smaller vessel).  Therefore, we may not see a new vessel requirement for this particular route for some years. What will occur at the next tender is that the incumbent operator (NFS) will be obliged to re-quote and justify their ownership of the operating rights.”

Other requirements from the purchaser included designing the vessel to fit the current port infrastructure so as to minimise any modifications to the existing facilities (vehicle ramps, passenger and catering gangways), Bennett says.   Austal also worked in conjunction with the operator, on the design of an extremely comprehensive catering and food service centre on the vessel.

Leonora Christina is constructed in accordance with the requirements and under the survey of Det Norske Veritas, conforming to International Maritime Organisation HSC Code and Danish regulations.   The fast ferry will start sea trials next month, with delivery scheduled for May 2011.   


 Leonora Christina


Length overall: 112.6 metres

Length waterline: 101.3 metres

Beams moulded: 26.20 metres

Depth: 8.50 metres


Passengers: 1,400

Crew: 30 – 35

Vehicles: 357 cars

Maximum deadweight: 1000 tonnes

Fuel: 160,000 litres

Propulsion and Performance

Engine: 4 x MAN 20V28/33D

               4 x 9,100 kW

Speed: Up to 40 knots


Det Norske Veritas

+1A1 HSLC, R2, Passenger Car Ferry A



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