The first of two Austal Auto Express 118 trimarans under construction for Fred. Olsen Express of the Canary Islands has completed a rigorous program of sea trials in Western Australia. After launching in February, the ‘Bajamar Express’ (Austal Hull 394) has successfully completed sea trials off the coast of Perth, prior to the planned delivery of the vessel in June 2020. Over the past weeks, Bajamar Express has achieved an average speed of 37.6 knots at 85% MCR (power), carrying 80% from maximum deadweight (cargo capacity); confirming the vessel’s outstanding capability to achieve high-speed performance, while delivering optimum comfort for passengers and crew.
Austal CEO David Singleton said the results of the Bajamar Express sea trials, which included reaching over 42 knots and easily exceeding contract speed, were a great demonstration of the 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 Singleton said. “The new Bajamar Express builds upon the successful trimaran hull first developed by Austal for Fred. Olsen Express in the iconic Benchijigua Express, delivered in 2005. This next generation of high speed ferry is going to offer an even greater customer experience, for which Fred. Olsen Express has become renowned.” Fred. Olsen S.A. CEO Andrés Marín said that a ‘superior maritime experience’ has been achieved with the completion of sea trials over the past weeks. “Achieving more than 42 knots speed, while maintaining the comfort of passengers on-board, clearly demonstrates the superiority of the Bajamar Express,” Mr Marin said. “Further, the Bajamar Express and her sister ship, Bañaderos Express, will include all the latest preventive measures for COVID-19 safety, including protocols certified by Aenor.
“We are very proud that Fred. Olsen Express is the first Spanish transport and tourism company to achieve this important certification.” “The entire Fred. Olsen Express team can’t wait for Bajamar Express to arrive in the Canary Islands and begin an enhanced service experience to our valued, loyal customers.” 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, Teneriffe and Agaete, Gran Canaria routes in the Canary Islands from the 3rd quarter of 2020.