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Wednesday, August 11, 2021 

Austal Australasia has been awarded a 20.5m (A$ 32.8m) contract to design and build a 66m high-speed catamaran ferry, scheduled for 2023 delivery from Austal's Vietnam shipyard. for The Degage Group of French Polynesia.

Austal CEO Paddy Gregg said: “Over the past two decades The Degage Group has trusted Austal to design and construct five ships for their growing maritime and tourism operations in French Polynesia, and we’re delighted they have again chosen Austal to develop their latest high-speed ferry. The Degage Group are an acknowledged leader in commercial maritime transportation and tourism. This contract is a clear demonstration of confidence in our Vietnam shipyard, which recently delivered its second commercial ferry within a period of just two years. Our sincere thanks to The Degage Group and especially the team at Aremiti SNC for again showing their trust in us to build them the very latest in high-speed ferry technology, efficiently and cost effectively, to Austal’s highest quality standards.”

The new Austal Passenger Express 66 catamaran features a length overall of 66.4m, beam of 15.2m and draught of 1.8m. Over two passenger decks, the vessel can accommodate 574 passengers, with an additional 80 seats available on an external sun deck. Crew accommodation includes seven two-berth cabins and two single-berth cabins. The vessel has four passenger access ramps and can carry up to 16t of cargo loaded via two cranes.

To be fitted with four diesel engines and four waterjets, as well as Austal’s Motion Control System (including active interceptors and T-foils) and the latest Marinelink and Marinelink-Smart programs, the new ferry will have a contracted top speed of 35.8 knots and a range of 360 naut mile.

Austal has previously designed and built two 69m monohull cruise vessels (Austal Hulls 172 and 173), a 56m vehicle passenger catamaran ferry (Austal Hull 266), an 80m vehicle passenger catamaran ferry (Austal Hull 201) and a 49m vehicle passenger ferry (Hull 421) for the Degage Group. The new ferry will operate as the Apetahi Express, between Pape’ete (Tahiti) and Vaitape (Bora Bora).

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