The latest iteration of the Visentini product: the <i>Ciudad de Valencia</i>. (credit: NAOS).The latest iteration of the Visentini product: the Ciudad de Valencia. (credit: NAOS).

Privately-owned Italian shipbuilder Cantiere Navale Visentini is set to deliver its largest- and longest-ever vessel to Spanish ferry operator Trasmediterranea, writes David Tinsley.

The 203-metre Ciudad de Valencia is an updated version of the highly successful ro-pax design produced in series over the past 25 years for a multiplicity of owners and charterers maintaining services in northern Europe and the Mediterranean.

The ship left the yard at Donada, on the River Po, for preliminary trials in the north Adriatic last month, and then proceeded to Trieste for drydocking and final completion before official sea trials and handover to the Spanish client. Initial performance showed a top speed of 27 knots at a light draught and in relatively shallow water, the highest speed recorded to date by a Visentini-built vessel.

Typically fast service speeds of some 23-25 knots offered by the Visentini class, together with the design’s cost-efficiency and flexibility in both ro-pax and ro-ro freight ferry applications, have been major factors in its attractions to the charter market and resulting continual generation of newbuild orders over two and a half decades. The latest iteration, which is 16 metres longer than preceding ships, is powered by two MaK 12M43C medium-speed main engines, each delivering 12,600kW in a twin-screw configuration.

Developed by the Trieste consultancy NAOS Ship and Boat Design, the Visentini-built series made its debut in 1995, and was refined in 2004 with the proprietary FLExBow. The new version has a payload capacity for 2,570 lane-metres of trailers plus dedicated space for 260 cars, and is fitted with 157 passenger cabins providing 616 berths.

All cargo access is by way of a stern ramp, deployed at the main deck threshold and feeding all five trailer and car decks with internal transfers effected using two fixed ramps, one moveable and one hoistable ramp.

The power installation, driving two controllable pitch propellers through reduction gears, will afford a service speed of about 23.7 knots on the design draught at 85% maximum continuous rating (MCR) of the German-made engines. The electrical load at sea will be covered by two 2,000kW shaft generators, complemented by three gensets based on 2,000kW dual-fuel machinery.

It has not yet been disclosed whether the newbuild will be employed on the company’s routes between the Spanish mainland and the Balearic Islands or on the Canary Island connections.

To ensure the requisite manoeuvrability in any of the ports, Ciudad de Valencia is equipped with two 1,300kW bow thrusters. Model basin tests were conducted at the Brodarski Institute in Zagreb, Croatia.

Trasmediterranea was purchased in 2017 from the Acciona Group by Naviera Armas, creating the leading force in Spanish short-sea shipping. It is understood that the company has been in discussions with Visentini as to the charter of a further newbuild ro-pax of the Ciudad de Valencia type, for delivery in 2021.


Length overall


Length bp


Breadth overall


Depth, to main deck


Depth, to weather deck


Draught, design




Ro-ro capacity, freight

2,566 lane-m

Dedicated car deck capacity

260 cars

Passenger cabin berths


Crew berths


Main engines

2 x 12,600kW

Service speed, 85% MCR at design draught




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