Luxury ferries by 2021
TT-Line has signed an agreement with German shipbuilder, Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft, for the construction of two new Spirit of Tasmania ferries, worth about $460 million each. The ferries will be crossing Bass Strait by 2021 and will be customised “floating hotels”, according to TT-Line's Chief Executive, Bernard Dwyer. "Technology will be cutting-edge and the look and feel and colour will be inspired by Tasmanian experiences, from timber panelling, to imagery, to art and sculptures," Mr Dwyer told The Mercury. "The entire seventh level of the new ships — from stern to bow — will be all public space, which will be up almost 50 per cent on the current Spirits. There’ll be lounges, bars, dining areas and movie theatres. You might walk into a Tasmanian whisky bar, or a bar serving Tasmanian gins. Up forward, level seven will have panoramic views out over the bow to Bass Strait, something that is blocked out these days ... There will be more retail outlets and shop fronts for Tasmanian tourist operators, entertainment areas for families, quiet nooks for reading and relaxing, and maybe even fitness areas." While internal specifications for layout and design have not been finalised, TT-Line's vision is to offer increased comfort and enjoyment to passengers, Mr Dwyer said. The ships will take 2,000 passengers (up 40 per cent) and 70 per cent more cars.
8 February 2018, Edition 191