The modern car-passenger ferry Rusadir (ex. Honfleur), chartered by Spanish shipowner Baleària, left a shipyard in Gdynia on 23 March and moored for a few days in Gdansk to bunker LNG due to the voyage to Malaga expected on Saturday, March 25.
The Rusadir has since December 2021 been formally owned by Siem Shipping Inc. (the company has a branch in Gdynia for technical and operational ship management – Siem Ship Management Sp. z o.o.). Until Thursday, 23 March, the vessel was docked at the Nauta Shiprepair Yard in Gdynia, undergoing the finishing touches before entering the regular line. One of the changes was the rebranding of the ferry, including the Spanish shipowner’s livery – turquoise and white paint scheme.
Before Saturday’s voyage to Malaga, the ferry berthed in Gdansk, near Westerplatte, to fill its tank with liquefied natural gas. The Rusadir will serve the regular Melilla-Malaga line.
The ferry had attracted great interest even before arriving in Gdynia due to the turbulence associated with its construction.
The ceremonial cutting of the first steel began in March 2018 at the German shipyard Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft mbH & Co. KG (FSG) on behalf of French shipowner Brittany Ferries.
Unfortunately, the shipyard ran into financial problems and significantly prolonged construction. Eventually, upon FSG’s filing for insolvency in April 2020, the French client cancelled the contract, and following a settlement, the vessel became the property of Siem Group.
The incomplete but highly outfitted vessel was towed from the Flensburg shipyard in October 2020. Its construction was completed by the Norwegian shipyard Fosen Yard in Rissa near Trondheim.
The Rusadir has a length overall of 187m, a breadth of 31m, 6.6m of the draft, 42.500 GT, 6080t deadweight, 1680 passenger seats and 261 cabins. She can transport 550 passenger cars and features 2.600m of lane metres.
On board, there are, among other things, comfortable four-person cabins, six-person deluxe family cabins and cabins for disabled passengers. In addition, there is a cinema, restaurants, café, bar, boutiques, children’s play areas and accommodation for a crew of 130. Access between the various decks is via two central staircases and two lifts.
It is worth adding that the partially equipped superstructure blocks for the ferry were supplied by the Polish companies Marine Projects Ltd and Holm Construction Ltd from Gdansk.
Photo: Sławomir Lewandowski