The second of four new LNG-fuelled ferries ordered by Brittany Ferries from Stena RoRo hit the water for the first time earlier this week. SANTOÑA was floated out at China Merchants Jinling Shipyard (Weihai) on 20 April. Representatives from the owner of the ship, Stena RoRo, and classification society DNV-GL were in attendance.
SANTOÑA is a virtual copy of SALAMANCA which entered service between Portsmouth and Bilbao during March. Like SALAMANCA, SANTOÑA is powered by two Wärtsilä dual-fuel engines and has capacity for 1,015 passengers and up to 2,705 lane metres of freight. As with her older sister, SANTOÑA also has a mezzanine vehicle deck installed on the starboard side of her upper vehicle deck, substantially increasing her car capacity during peak periods.
Passengers who have travelled on Brittany Ferries’ E-Flexers GALICIA and SALAMANCA will find that SANTOÑA has the same layout of facilities, with the main differences being in the decor. As with the older vessels, SANTOÑA will have her own specially curated art collection.
SANTOÑA is the final of three E-Flexer ferries expected to be delivered from the same shipyard this year. The two others are lengthened E-Flexer MK II’s for Stena Line’s Karlskrona- Gdynia route. The first of these recently completed seatrials ahead of her delivery during May.
Brittany Ferries’ SANTOÑA is expected to enter service in the first half of 2023, when she will displace the diesel-only powered GALICIA from the Portsmouth – Santander route. This will allow GALICIA in turn to replace CONNEMARA on the Rosslare – Bilbao service.
Further Orders for Weihai
China Merchants Jinling Shipyard (Weihai) also has contracts for three further E-Flexers, all of which will be shorter hybrid-electric versions. Two of these are for Brittany Ferries and one for Marine Atlantic.
In addition, two large Superstar-class Ro-Pax’s are also under construction at the Weihai shipyard for Grimaldi subsidiary Finnlines. The keel laying for the first of these, FINNSIRIUS, took place on 1 April.