Havila Castor ferry Review and Specifications
Specifications of Havila Castor ferry
|Year built||2021 new ship|
|Builder||Tersan Shipyard (Yalova, Turkey)|
|Class||Norwegian coastal cruiseferry|
|Ferry route / homeports||Bergen-Kirkenes|
|Length (LOA)||123 m / 404 ft|
|Beam (width)||22 m / 72 ft|
|Sister-ships||Havila Capella, Havila Polaris, Havila Pollux|
Review of Havila Castor ferry
MS Havila Castor is a Norwegian coastal cruiseferry operated by the Norwegian shipping company HAVILA KYSTRUTEN (part of Havila Group). The ship has a max capacity of 640 passengers. Cargo capacity is 9 cars and 190 pallets, 40 of which can be transported by freezing or cooling. The vessel will be launched and inaugurated in 2021 to operate on the Norway ferry route Bergen-Kirkenes (crossing time 7 days) stopping at 34 ports along the itinerary. This route is served by a total of 11 ships (7x by Hurtigruten, 4x by Havila) and the ferry service is government-subsidized.
As cruise ferry, Havila Castor has a total of 468 berths plus 172 seats (for day passengers). All staterooms are air-conditioned and with en-suite bathrooms (washbasin, WC, shower). The ferry company provides bed linens, towels and toiletries.
- Some staterooms are wheelchair-accessible (adapted for disabled passengers and people with reduced mobility). The ship also offers Pet-friendly" cabins.
- Passenger cabins are inside and outside, in both economy and luxury categories.
- Luxury cabins are with double occupancy, lower fixed beds, double sofabed, writing table with chair, wardrobe (slide-opening closet), wall-mounted reading lamps, flat TV, phone.
- The ship additionally has 172 recliners (aircraft-type seats) in a Reserved Seating Lounge available for pre-booking.
Disabled passengers or those requiring specific assistance should visit ship's Reception/Information Desk. All passengers must vacate their staterooms 30 min prior to port arrival.
Shipboard dining and entertainment options
As facilities, the Havila Castor ship offers:
- Lobby area (Reception Desk, luggage lockers)
- Infirmary / Doctor's Office
- Buffet Restaurant (self-service)
- Cafe Bar (Cafeteria / Patisserie)
- Gaming area with slot machines
- Kids Zone / Children's Playroom (indoor playground) with large TV and floor-ceiling windows. Supervised kids' activities include watching cartoons, organized art-craft competitions with prizes, trivia, board games.
- Reserved Seating Lounge offers reclining / Pullman seats and bar service.
- Duty-Free Shop is retail selling alcohol (liquors, beers, wines), tobaccos, brand perfumes and cosmetics, sunglasses, designer watches, jewelry, clothes and accessories, electronics and gadgets, toys, confectionery, gifts and souvenirs.
- ATM / cash machine is located next to the Information Desk (Lobby Reception).
- WiFi coverage is shipwide.
- On top deck are located the Navigation Bridge and Helideck (aft-located helipad / helicopter landing area used in cases of emergency). Large parts of ship's top-deck is covered by solar panels generating some of the onboard used electricity.
- Passenger-accessible Sun Decks offer plenty of open-air spaces, including a sunbathing area (bow location) with loungers.
Emergency instructions are displayed in all staterooms as well as on all TV screens and assembly points (muster stations). Life jackets are issued at the assembly stations. In cases of emergency, the use of elevators/passenger lifts is forbidden. Smoking throughout the ship is forbidden.
MS Havila Castor has only 1 garage deck (for cars and palleted cargo). Follows a list of cargo deck-related safety procedures:
- Apply handbrake and place the vehicle in park or 1st gear position. Switch off the ignition, alarm, electrical equipment, headlights. Gas cylinders, if any, must be switched off. Lock the vehicle.
- From your car take only valuables and essential hand baggage.
- Access to ship's cargo deck during the voyage is prohibited.
- Wait for the onboard announcement before returning to your vehicle.
- In order to avoid air pollution, don't start the engine until instructed.
Since 2021, the shipowner Havila Kystruten (subsidiary of the 2002-founded Havila Shipping ASA, headquartered in Fosnavag, Norway) together with Hurtigruten provides regularly-scheduled and government-subsidized Norwegian Coastal ferry service between homeports Bergen and Kirkenes. Havila Kystruten's fleet consists of 4 sisterships (same-designed cruiseferries) which were built in pairs by two shipbuilders - Barreras Shipyard in Vigo Spain (Polaris and Pollux) and Tersan Shipyard in Yalova Turkey (Capella and Castor).
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On March 23, 2018, Norway's Ministry of Transportation and Communications split the "Norwegian Coastal Express" ferry service between Hurtigruten and the Norwegian company Havila Shipping (Havila Kystruten Ltd). The Bergen-Kirkenes-Bergen route is operated by Hurtigruten since 1893. Norwegian Government's annual subsidy for this regularly-scheduled passenger shipping service is NOK 788 million (~USD 100 million).
In late-December 2018 was announced that Enova (Norwegian government agency) will provide NOK 88 million (USD 10,1 million) as financial support for Havila Kystruten's newbuilds (or NOK 22 million per vessel). Havila ships are from the Havyard-923 series and designed specifically for the "Norwegian Coastal Express" service. The four newbuilds are LNG-powered hybrids (alternative battery power) and passenger capacity 640 (each). The vessels were designed by "Havyard Ship Technology" (subsidiary of Havyard Group - Norwegian maritime company established in 2000, owns Loland Verft in Leirvik Norway).
Rolls-Royce Marine was contracted to provide Havila ships' power plants and propulsion units. The equipment includes 2x dual-fuel engines, 4x Bergen gas engines (two 9-cylinder, plus two 6-cylinder, all IMO Tier 3 compliant), 2x LNG tanks (with bunkering systems), 2x LNG fuel systems, control and safety systems. Ship's propulsion is also Rolls-Royce manufactured and includes 2x Azipull thrusters (with Permanent Magnet drive motors), stabilizers (Neptune 200), tunnel thrusters (allowing slimmer hull shape, better energy efficiency low noise-vibration levels). LNG fuel systems are separate, custom-designed, and serving both machine rooms (front and aft).
In late-February 2019, the Candian stock-listed company Corvus Energy was contracted by NES (Norwegian Electric Systems) for delivery and installation of world's largest ship battery package ESS (Energy Storage System / air-cooled system with patented single-cell thermal isolation). Orca ESS (battery pack) has capacity 6100 kW per hour - or double the capacity of currently largest battery-packed (electric) ferries. battery power is combined with hybrid gas-electric propulsion. The powerplant consists of 4x LNG-powered marine engines (per vessel) with combined output 7,76 MW.
In early-April 2019, Havila Kystruten and Kongsberg Maritime (ferry equipment's supplier) signed a 10-year contract (NOK 150 million / USD 17,6m) for "Power-by-the-Hour" service for the new cruiseferries. This Kongsberg service was introduced in 2017 with NorLines (Norwegian coastal shipping and logistics company). By the Havila-Kongsberg agreement, the shipowner Havila handed to Kongsberg the responsibility for vessel's service planning and performance. The shipowner pays a fixed charge per hour of operation per vessel. Kongsberg monitors in real-time the equipment from land-based control centers (collecting data from shipboard sensors) where engineers can remotely access the equipment and carry out services or send out service staff to assist. The "Power-by-the-Hour" package also includes ship's planned drydock-wetdock maintenance. Kongsberg's equipment package includes propulsion system (Azipull thrusters with Permanent Magnet drive motor), tunnel thrusters, stabilizers and LNG systems (including four Rolls Royce-made Bergen C26-33L gas engines).
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