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Christian Damsgaard, KNUD E. HANSEN’s Head of Naval Architecture, is very proud of the long-standing and effective co-operation between the Danish naval architecture firm and Grimaldi Group. ‘Both are old companies with proud traditions and the FINNSIRIUS and FINNCANOPUS are the latest in a line of successful and profitable ferries on the designs of which we have worked together’, he observes, recalling that ‘the project began in 2019 when Grimaldi Group first discussed with us the idea of developing a new advanced and environmentally friendly large ro-pax design.

Text: Bruce Peter

Soon, the project became one specifically for Finnlines, which has very particular requirements for the Baltic Sea trade. Its ferries need ice-strengthening and a disposition of accommodation for a northerly climate with facilities appealing to travellers in that area.’

‘We worked closely with Dario Bocchetti and Alberto Portolano of the Grimaldi Energy and Savings Department, and with Juha Ahia, Finnlines’ New Buildings and Projects Manager, with whom we had very fruitful discussions during the design development process. The FINNSIRIUS and FINNCANOPUS have a very big lane meterage, which meant that careful thought needed to be given to the structural and capacity implications of possible design solutions. For its existing ro-pax ferries, Finnlines’ preference has been for hull and superstructure layouts with side casings. We looked into that approach but concluded that on the new design a centre design was a more ideal solution as it produces a stronger, lighter structure with more capacity across the width of the hull.’

Damsgaard goes on to observe that ‘The FINNSIRIUS is in essence a huge freight ferry with a cruise ferry superstructure at the top. We arranged the vehicle decks on the principal that private car drivers would board last and disembark first from the uppermost vehicle deck, immediately beneath the passenger accommodation. With regard to the latter, Finnlines knew what they wanted, it being important that the public rooms would offer outstanding views in all directions and so it was decided to place these at the very top of the superstructure with the bridge below, the crew accommodation astern of it and the passenger and truck driver cabins between the vehicle decks and public room decks.’ With regard to the vessels’ appearance, Damgaard noted that ‘from KNUD E. HANSEN’s point-of-view, we wanted to produce a design solution that appears absolutely distinct from all of the other recent Baltic Sea ro-pax vessels and which communicates more of a futuristic image, suggestive of high-quality, of speed and of efficiency. Dr Grimaldi supported the idea of reflecting these qualities. The sharp, arrow-like forms of the bow and forward superstructure give the impression of a fast ro-pax even when speed is limited.’

KNUD E. HANSEN’s work went as far as the production of a tender design. Damsgaard concludes by emphasising again the excellent cooperation achieved between KNUD E. HANSEN, Finnlines and Grimaldi Group in the gestation of the project.

Shippax Design23


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