Austal’s largest catamaran built to date, the 113 metre “Leonora Christina”, was recently handed over to her owners, marking completion of construction of the high speed vehicle-passenger ferry at Austal’s Henderson shipyard.“Leonora Christina” was constructed for Danish company Færgen (formerly Nordic Ferry Services) and is due to depart Austal’s Henderson shipyard for Denmark this week, where it will be operated by Bornholmer Færgen, a subsidiary of Færgen.“Leonora Christina” will join the 86 metre Austal-built catamaran, “Villum Clausen”, which has been transporting vehicles and passengers between Ronne on the Danish island of Bornholm and Ystad in south east Sweden since 2000.

Senior Captain Soren Schow, of Bornholmer Færgen, will command the 22 day voyage from Western Australia to Denmark along with a crew of 12, and has commented that he looks forward to “Leonora Christina” commencing operations in mid-June 2011.“Having spent a significant amount of time at Austal during the construction of “Leonora Christina”, I am confident that this vessel will perform well and exceed the expectations of the Bornholm public.”“After participating in recent sea trials, I am satisfied that “Leonora Christina” has fulfilled its speed requirements, while its proven seakeeping capabilities will ensure maximum passenger comfort throughout the 90 minute journey from Bornholm to Ystad,” said Senior Captain Schow.

Austal Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Bellamy, congratulated employees at Austal’s Henderson shipyard on the completion of “Leonora Christina”, commenting that the vessel will soon be the pride of Bornholmer Færgen’s fleet.Austal was awarded the contract to build “Leonora Christina” in April 2009, following a competitive international tender process which saw Austal utilise its in-house design team and experience to develop a highly customised vessel design that met all of Færgen’s requirements for the route. “Leonora Christina” has also been built to comply with stringent Danish regulations, covering environmental noise, wave-wash and exhaust emissions, as well as ergonomic working arrangements for the crew and strict fire and safety standards.