Swiftships, Inc. Receives Contract For Two Additional MTU-Powered Ferries

Swiftships, Inc., Morgan City, La., has contracted to deliver two additional passenger ferries to Turista Margarita of Porta La Cruz, Venezuela. A similar vessel was previously purchased from Swiftships and is now in operation from the Venezuelan mainland to the coastal islands of Santa Margarita.

The new 125-foot passenger ferries will be all-aluminum and seat 300 persons aircraft style.

Speeds to 28 knots are provided by three MTU 12V331TC71 engines with 1,360 horsepower each.

Fuel capacity is 5,500 gallons, and the craft carries approximately 475 gallons of fresh water.

The v e s s e l s are climate-controlled throughout, and feature galleys for fast-food service. Each is equipped with a video tape projection system, and the latest in radar, navigation, and lifesaving equipment.

According to Swiftships' Jerry HofTpauir, "The success of the first Swiftships-built p a s s e n g er ferry, the Gran Cacique, led directly to the new contract. The Venezuelan people and the South American public in general are extremely fond of weekend travel," he said."Specifically," he continued, "a number of islands off the coast, including Curacao and Margarita, are very popular tourist spots." A spokesman for Turista Margarita explained that recent increases in business have come mainly from visitors traveling to the coastal islands, mostly popular free ports. Even with local air service, full-capacity ferry trips four times daily, seven days a week, are expected. With this business potential, he continued, we fully expect our fleet of passenger ferries to grow. The current Swiftships-built vessel has proven to be ideal in every way for us, including passenger comfort, overall speed, and ease of maintenance.

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