Austal Philippines Pty Ltd., on August 8, delivered the first catamaran-class high-speed commercial ferry of VS Grand Ferries Corporation that will serve Calbayog City, Samar – Cebu City route.
The vessel, M/V SeaCat, has a capacity to carry up to 300 passengers at speeds of up to 25 knots. Travel time between Calbayog and Cebu will be reduces from 12 hours to 5 hours.
In August 2017, Balamban, Cebu-based Austal Philippines won the AUD5.5 million contract to construction the 30-meter all-aluminium catamaran, designed by Incat Crowther.
“In just 5 years of operation, Austal Philippines has delivered 13 vessels and established a highly efficient workforce, utilising advanced, modular shipbuilding techniques developed right here in Australia,” Austal Chief Executive Officer David Singleton said at the time of the award of contract.
VS Grand Ferries owner Arthur Vaughn Zosa said “instead of going to Tacloban first before heading to Catbalogan or Calbayog in Samar, tourists from Cebu can now directly reach us, stay in our hotels, eat in our restaurants, have their tour and exit the province using our ports. With this, we expect to welcome more tourists.”
The fast craft leaves Calbayog at 8 am for Cebu Port, and leaves at 2 pm for the return trip that arrives in Calbayog at 7 pm. The fare is set at PHP1,300.
Sources: http://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1044239; https://www.austal.com/news/austal-wins-5th-commercial-ferry-order-philippines-shipyard-12-months; https://www.facebook.com/DOTrPH/posts/1173890222750112