Virtu Ferries Orders 107m Austal Cat

Austal has received its second large vehicle ferry order within a week after being selected by leading Maltese operator Virtu Ferries to design and build a 107 metre vehicle-passenger catamaran.

The order follows last week’s announcement of a contract with Denmark’s Nordic Ferry Services to build Austal’s largest ever catamaran – emphasising the company’s position at the forefront of high speed vessel design and construction.

The Virtu Ferries’ vessel will be built by Austal’s Western Australian workforce and is scheduled for delivery by mid 2010.

Intended for operation between Malta and Italy, the vessel will join Virtu Ferries’ existing 68 metre vehicle ferry “Maria Dolores” which was delivered by Austal in 2006.

A number of high speed ferry builders, including Austal, were invited by Virtu Ferries to submit vessel options that would enable it to further expand its ferry service to Italy. Through continual communication with the client, Austal was able to utilise its in-house design team and experience to develop a highly customised vessel design that met all Virtu’s requirements for the route.

Austal Managing Director Bob Browning said the company’s ability and willingness to customise vessel design and functionality was an important factor in providing the optimum solution for Virtu Ferries.