Catamaran Saint John Paul II arrives in Malta – Open day next month

Catamaran Saint John Paul II arrives in Malta - Open day next monthVirtu Ferries is inviting the public to visit their new catamaran – M/V Saint John Paul II – which has just arrived in Malta, following a 9,600 nautical miles, 20-day journey from the shipyard in Hobart Tasmania.

The company said that the catamaran be deployed on the Malta/Sicily route in March.

To welcome the new vessel, Virtu Ferries have organised an Open Day for viewing, on Sunday, the 10th of March, from 10am to 6pm, at the Virtu Passenger Terminal in Marsa. There will be tasting of typical Maltese and Sicilian food and wines available.

For her maiden voyage she crossed the Indian Ocean, calling at the ports of Fremantle in Western Australia and Colombo in Sri Lanka for refuelling, before passing Somalia, at the Eastern tip of Africa, to transit the length of the Red Sea where she called at the last refuelling port of Jeddah before entering the Mediterranean via the Suez Canal and then fro Port Said she arrived i Valletta.

Virtu explained that the vessel conforms with the EU Maritime Green Policy, the European response to the new generation of ocean strategies based on science, technology and innovation.

Saint John Paul II is powered by four MTU engines generating a total of 36.4 Mega Watts. These state of the art engines meet IMO Marpol Annex VI Tier II standards which regulate exhaust gas emissions, with the aim of reducing local and global air pollution. Four Wärtsilä waterjets give the vessel a cruising speed in excess of 38 knots (over 70.4 km/hour)

She will be the largest High Speed RoPax Catamaran operating in the Mediterranean and the second largest in the world. Virtu said that with a deadweight of 1000 tons, it has a capacity for 900 passengers in 5 lounges, and a garage that takes 167 cars or 23 trailers,

The vessel is named after Saint John Paul II. Virtu Ferries said that it had the honour of welcoming HH Pope John Paul II on board ACC San Frangisk, on that momentous return voyage between Grand Harbour, Valletta, St Paul’s Islands and Gozo on 27th May 1990.

Like all other Virtu high speed vessels, the Saint John Paul II will fly the Malta Flag and is certified for international voyages by the International Classification Society, DNV GL.

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