STX Finland Oy and Viking Line ABP have signed an agreement for the construction of an environmentally friendly, new generation cruise ferry for Viking Line. The agreement includes an option for a sister ship. The contract price is about 240 million euros. The ship will be built at Turku shipyard and will be delivered to Viking Line at the beginning of 2013. The signed agreement represents approximately 2600 man-years of employment. 

Rendering of the new LNG ferry.

The new cruise ferry will be the most environmentally friendly big passenger vessel to date. The vessel uses LNG as  fuel and it has no marine emissions and its aerial emissions are extremely low. The vessel has been specially designed to operate in the delicate and shallow waters of the Finnish and Swedish archipelago. The wave forming and noise generation have been minimised.

The cruise ferry is about 214 metres in length with a gross tonnage of 57 000. The ship is planned to have capacity for 2800 passengers and will be operated by a 200-member crew. The vessel, which is full of innovative and new solutions, has 880 passenger cabins. It has 1275 lane-metres for trucks and a separate car deck with approximately 500 lane-metres for passenger cars. Additional room for passenger cars can be found on the hoistable car decks.

The President of STX Finland Oy, Juha Heikinheimo says, "The signed agreement is an indication of the competence that the Finnish shipbuilding cluster has as a builder of innovative and highly environmentally friendly ships. I am delighted that we get the opportunity to build at  Turku Shipyard a cruise ferry for our domestic shipping company Viking Line to operate between Turku and Stockholm".

"The design of the new ship will start immediately at Turku shipyard, and the actual building of the ship starts during fall 2011," continues Heikinheimo.