Incat Crowther-designed hybrid ferries gearing up for Liberty Lines’ service

The first two of twelve new hybrid high-speed ferries designed by shipbuilder Incat Crowther for ferry operator Liberty Lines will soon begin servicing the latter’s routes between Sicily and nearby islands.

Courtesy of Incat Crowther

According to Incat Crowther, the 38-meter hybrid propulsion vessels, named Vittorio Morace and HSC Cristina M, have proven their ability to operate at speeds of up to 30 knots when carrying a full load, with a sprint speed of 33 knots.

To note, each vessel in the new fleet, being built by shipyard Astilleros Armon, is equipped with an integrated hybrid propulsion system that includes MTU 16V4000M65L engines providing both conventional and electric propulsion. In addition, the vessels feature two e-motors, two variable-speed gensets, a battery system, an electrical power management system and an MTU hybrid automation system.

Incat said that this integrated system allows the fleet to enter and exit port in a zero-emissions mode at speeds of up to eight knots, with the ability to recharge each vessel via shoreside infrastructure during longer stops.

“The vessels can also operate in a hybrid propulsion mode, reaching high speeds while recharging their batteries via the two main engines. In a further future-focused design element, the vessels are also ready for conversion to hydrogen consumption in the future,” Incat added.

The new vessels are designed to transport up to 251 passengers, with the main deck featuring seating for 166 passengers, five bathrooms and a kiosk/bar amidship. The upper deck seats a further 85 passengers with an additional two toilets. Large luggage racks are available in both passenger cabins, in addition to overhead luggage bins.

The ten remaining vessels in the fleet are expected to follow Vittorio Morace and HSC Cristina M into service between 2024 and 2029.

Brett Crowther, Incat Crowther’s CEO, stated: “The launches of Vittorio Morace and HSC Cristina M provide a glimpse into the future of low emission public transport. These vessels are a smart, long-term investment by Liberty Lines as not only do they help the company sustainably expand its fleet today, but they are also future-proofed for an operationally efficient, zero-emissions future as alternative fuels become more economically viable for operators.”

Gennaro Carlo Cotella, Liberty Lines’CEO, commented: “With this project, we are making a sustainable investment in the renewal of our fleet, with the purpose to continue to offer high-quality services to our stakeholders and minimise environmental impact in order to achieve an emission-free future.”

Related Article