Ice breaking ferry KIHNU VIRVE delivered on schedule


Baltic Workboats AS has delivered the second of three 45-meter Arc4 ice class ferries to the Estonian Maritime Administration.

The KIHNU VIRVE will operate year round to connect island communities in Estonia’s Western archipelago. It can carry up to 200 passengers, as well as 32 cars or two 45 ton trucks, and will continue operating through the frozen winter sea.

The formidable vessels are powered by two MTU 8V4000 engines, which each produce 1000kW of power and turn Rolls-Royce US-155 azimuth thrusters. Additional onboard power is provided by two Volvo Penta D9MG generators. This powertrain allows the vessels to maintain an operating speed of 15 knots in calm water and 3 knots through 45cm thick ice.

The ship will be manned by a crew of six people and has a clever double-ended design with an interchangeable bow and stern for increased maneuverability and greater efficiency for rolling vehicles on and off.

The ferry is 45 meters in length, has a beam of 12 meters and a draught of 2.7 meters. All three vessels have also all been designed to accommodate future enhancements, including the installation of a second car level to carry 10 additional vehicles. There is also a comfortable lounge for passengers to enjoy the view from above.

The three vessel contract was awarded to Baltic Workboats in 2013 and KIHNU VIRVE is the second vessel to be delivered on schedule. She will join her first-in-class sister ship ORMSÖ, which is already successfully operating between the islands of Vormsi, Kihnu and the mainland. The third ship SOELA is under construction and will be delivered in 2017.

The vessels are designed and built by Baltic Workboats in accordance with the regulatory standards of the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping, which assigns them the class notation KM*Arc4(1) R3 AUT Ro-Ro Passenger Ship. The vessels also adhere to all the the latest European Union directives and their Arc4 ice class designation is similar to Finland and Sweden’s 1A ice class.