Sunflower Murasaki ferry

Sunflower Murasaki ferry current position

Sunflower Murasaki ferry current location is at East Asia (coordinates 33.58650 N / 132.12827 E) cruising at speed of 21.9 kn (41 km/h | 25 mph) en route to >JP OSA 4N. The AIS position was reported 23 minutes ago.

Current Position

Specifications of Sunflower Murasaki ferry

Year of build2023  /  Age: 1
Flag state Japan
BuilderMitsubishi Heavy Industries (Shimonoseki, Japan)
Classcruiseferry (Ro-Pax ship)
Ferry route / homeportsOsaka-Beppu
Engines (power)Wartsila ( MW / 0 hp)
Speed23 kn / 43 km/h / 26 mph
Length (LOA)200 m / 656 ft
Beam (width)28 m / 92 ft
Gross Tonnage17114 gt
Freight vehicles137
Decks with cabins3
Sister-shipsSunflower Kurenai
Christened byMaya Nakanishi
OwnerMitsui OSK Lines Ltd (via Mitsui OSK Passenger Line)
OperatorMOL Ferries Ltd (via Ferry Sunflower Co Ltd)

Sunflower Murasaki ferry Review

Review of Sunflower Murasaki ferry

Sunflower Murasaki ferry is a Ro-Pax/Ro-Ro passenger vessel operated by the Japan-based company MOL FERRIES (subsidiary of Mitsui OSK Passenger Line). The ship has a max capacity of 716 passengers and cargo capacity 100 cars plus 137 lorries (semi-trailers/ 13-meter-long trucks). The vessel was inaugurated in 2023 (April) and currently operates on the Honshu-Kyushu ferry route Osaka-Beppu (route distance 260 mi / 418 km) with crossing/ship travel time 12 hours.

Ferry Sunflower Co Ltd operates the Osaka-Beppu route since 1997. Since 2023, on the same route is also deployed the sistership Sunflower Kurenai.

The vessel (IMO number 9900124) is currently Japan-flagged (MMSI 431020573) and registered in Osaka.

Sunflower Murasaki ferry ship (MOL Ferries Japan)

Sunflower Murasaki in Japanese is さんふらわあ むらさき

The new ferry's name honors SS Murasaki Maru (1921-built) which was the first passenger liner serving regularly the route Beppu-Hanshin (Kobe and Osaka).

Decks and Cabins

The cruise ferry Sunflower Murasaki has a total of 268 staterooms.

All passenger cabins are air-conditioned and with en suite bathrooms (WC-toilet, washbasin, shower, hairdryer, hangers, trash can, cups). MOL Ferries provides bed linens, service towels, and toiletries (toothbrushes, hand soap).

The passenger accommodations include 13x Wheelchair-Accessible cabins (adapted for disabled passengers), 7x Pet Cabins, and 89x Truck Driver Cabins.

The boat has 8 decks, of which 3 are with public venues and staterooms and 4x are garage decks (for wheeled cargo/passenger vehicles and trucks).

Shipboard facilities and amenities

Onboard facilities include a large public bath, a restaurant (buffet-style dining venue), a cafe lounge (exclusive for passengers in the top-tier suites on Deck 8), an indoor playground (kids' corner), Baby Changing Room, Public Restrooms, Truck Drivers' facilities (Bar & Lounge and Bathhouse).

Next are listed Sunflower Murasaki cruise ship's staterooms, venues and facilities by deck.

On Deck 8 (階) are located all Suites (each has a step-out balcony) in categories Western-style, Japanese-Western Style Connect, Suite Barrier-Free, Semi-Suite, Semi-Suite Connect. Deck 8 also houses the exclusive Sweet Cafe Lounge (Suite Lounge スイートラウンジ) providing complimentary beverages/coffee and tea, ice cream, newspapers and magazines, as well as booking services only for passengers accommodated on Deck 8. Forward (bow-facing) is the Navigation Bridge with the adjacent Captain's Suite and officers' quarters.

On Deck 7 (階) are located passenger cabins (Deluxe, Deluxe Connect, Pet Deluxe, Deluxe Japanese-style, Semi-Deluxe Japanese-style Connect, Superior Single Twin, Superior Single, Private Single, Private Bed Group), as well as two Grand Baths (large public bathhouses, separate for men 紳士展望浴場 and women 婦人展望浴場, each with a Sauna, 3x spa pools/hot tubs, 5x large windows/oceanview, changing cubicles), 24-hour shower rooms and multifunctional toilets (for the disabled), Dog Run (ドッグラン / outdoor dog exercise area), Pet Cage Room (ペットケージルーム / with cages and trash bins).

Pet Cage Rooms are at charge and pre-cruise reservations are required. Pet cages are medium-sized (55x53x72 cm).

The Grand Bathrooms are free of charge. However, passengers with tattoos/tattoo seals and body art paintings as well as dead-drunk passengers are not allowed in the wellness facilities.

On Deck 6 (階) are located Private Bed cabins (15x shared rooms, each with capacity 16 people/aka Fish Sleeping Rooms), Private Single Twins, Private Twins, Group Japanese-style cabins, Standard Single (truck driver cabin for 1 person). Deck 6 is the top level of the 3-deck-high Atrium (アトリウム) on which walls and the ceiling are projected UHD images and sound/projection mapping using an Epson EB-L30000U (3LCD laser projector).

Deck 6 also houses the ship's Lobby Hall (Reception Desk レセプション and boarding area), Restaurant (レストラン with Buffet Section ビュッフェ, serves Breakfast and Dinner at fixed-price, while alcoholic beverages are chargeable), Shop (ショップ, sells original merchandise, souvenirs, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages, ice cream, sweets, snacks, convenience goods), Kids' Corner (キッズコーナー, an indoor playground with books and toys, large TV for animation movies), Baby Care Room (ベビーケアルーム, diaper changing room for babies, has a water heater), Ladies' Powder Room (化粧室, half bath in the women's restroom, fitted with a large mirror and a powerful haidryer), as well as the exclusive Truck Driver Bathhouse (トラック運転手浴場) and Truck Driver Salon (トラックドライバーサロン, bar lounge).

The Promenade (midship on Deck 6) is an indoor deck space with an oceanview Atrium lounge with comfortable seating (many leather sofas and pouf chairs lined up by the round-shaped large windows) and a fan-shaped grand staircase (in the center). Next to the Atrium staircase, there is a Photo Corner (a large panel on the hull for Sunflower cruise-themed selfies) in front of which passengers can take pictures upon boarding. Captain uniforms and hats are provided complimentary to both adults and children.

From Deck 6 is provided direct stair- and lift access to the vehicle decks below. 

The Restaurant's pricing (2023-updated) is as follows - Breakfast (JPY 750 per adult/500 per school student/300 per toddler), Dinner (JPY 2300 adult/1000 school student/500 toddler). Beverages cost as follows - draft beer (JPY 500), Sake (JPY 250), Shochu (JPY 250), Sunflower Kobe Wine (JPY 1570 per bottle/940 half bottle).

On Deck 6 (portside and midship) and on Deck 7 (starboard) are located vending machines selling soft drinks, alcohol, cup noodles, packaged snacks.

Observation decks (展望デッキ/outdoor spaces providing scenic ocean views) are located on Deck 7 (starboard and portside) and on Deck 8 (aft).

The ship provides plenty of coin lockers, PIN lockers (for valuables) and refrigerated lockers (for foods/beverages), including 108x lockers (Deck 6), and 28x lockers (on Deck 7).

Sunflower Murasaki ferry ship (MOL Ferries Japan)

The passenger boarding gate is on Deck 4, from where an elevator connects to Deck 6's Lobby/Reception.

Ship boarding starts approx 2 hours prior to departure. Priority boarding is offered to all car drivers. For online reservations, check-in is automatic (machine).

All onboard emergency instructions are displayed in staterooms, on the TV screens, and at the ship's assembly stations (aka muster stations) located aft on Deck 7 (portside and starboard).

Life jackets are issued at the Emergency Assembly Stations (非常集合場所).

In cases of emergency, the use of elevators/passenger lifts is forbidden.

The ship's top deck serves as a helipad used for emergency helicopter landings.

Car decks

The Sunflower Murasaki ship has a total of four garage decks (for wheeled cargo), including Deck 5 (capacity 59x trucks / 13m semi-trailers), Deck 4 (capacity 78x trucks / 13m semi-trailers), Deck 3 (capacity 44x passenger vehicles/cars and vans) and Deck 2 (capacity 56x passenger vehicles/cars and vans).

Disabled passengers or those requiring specific assistance should contact the ship's Reception on Deck 6 (open 24 hours).

After parking on the Garage Deck, apply the handbrake and place the vehicle in park/1st gear position, then switch off the ignition, alarm, electrical equipment, headlights. Lock the vehicle.

From your vehicle take only valuables and essential hand baggage.

Make a note of your vehicle's location and garage deck number/stairway before leaving your designated car deck.

Access to the cargo decks during the voyage is forbidden.

Smoking is not allowed shipwide (including at observation desks), except in three designated rooms (located near the passenger cabins close to the Atrium) on decks 6-7-8 midship.

Upon leaving the ship, in order to avoid air pollution, don't start the engine until instructed.

ferry company MOL FERRIES logo - CruiseMapper

The shipowner MOL Ferries (2023-founded, headquartered in Oita City Japan) is a cargo and passenger company operating with 6 large vessels (three pairs of sisterships) the Japanese island routes Osaka-Beppu, Osaka-Shibushi, and Kobe-Oita. MOL Ferries (operational since October 1, 2023) groups the fleets of the MOL Group's subsidiaries Ferry Sunflower Ltd (2009-founded) and MOL Ferry Co Ltd (1969-founded).

Photos of Sunflower Murasaki ferry

Add Photo

Sunflower Murasaki ferry ship related cruise news

Sunflower Murasaki ferry Wiki

On November 16, 2019, the shipowner Ferry Sunflower Ltd (fully owned subsidiary of MOL Group/Mitsui OSK Lines Ltd) announced that on the Osaka-Beppu route (Seto Inland Sea) will be deployed two new ships replacing the older fleetmates Sunflower Ivory (1997-built/IMO 9162162) and Sunflower Cobalt (1998-built/IMO 9162174).

In December was placed the shipbuilding order for the two newbuilds (Murasaki and Kurenai), signed by Tsuyoshi Hashimoto (MOL Group's President) and Toru Kitamura (Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co Ltd's President).

MOL's new ship design (Senpaku ISHIN) incorporates a dual-fuel engine running on both LNG (liquefied natural gas) and HFO (heavy fuel oil/gasoil). By utilizing LNG fuel, the cruise ship reduces carbon/COx emissions by ~25%, nitrogen/NOx oxides by ~85% and virtually eliminates (100%) sulfur/SOx emissions and soot particles.

The powerplant is based on 1x Wartsila marine diesel engine (model 31DF) with output 4,6-9,6 MW (at 720-750 rpm) plus Wartsila dual-fuel engines (model 8EY26LDF, electricity generators) with power output 1,73 MW. Wartsila's equipment (engines, gearbox, LNG storage tanks, control systems) was delivered in May 2020. The dual-fuel engines (for the electric generators) were supplied by Yanmar Co Ltd (1912-founded manufacturer of diesel engines, heavy machinery and agricultural machinery) and delivered in September 2020.

The propulsion system is hybrid (diesel-electric) and consists of two CRPs (counter-rotating propellers) which are arranged in a line but rotating in opposite directions. Both CPRs are driven by electric motors (powered by diesel generators). There are also 4x thrusters (360-degree azimuthing propellers with electric motors), including 2x bow and 2x aft.

For better fuel efficiency, the hull form is optimized which resulted in a larger size and better performance (reduced resistance and improved vertical motion).

MOL's Senpaku ISHIN ship's interior was developed by Flux Design (with Tomoyuki Watanabe as Managing Director). It features an aerodynamically rounded bow which is shaped to use diagonal headwinds for additional propelling power. The Senpaku ISHIN concept also features an expanded interior cabin area per person (from 7 m2 to 11 m2/75-120 ft2) while the Deluxe Suite has an interconnecting door allowing the Suite to be combined with an adjacent cabin.

For the ship's construction, the shipbuilder Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (Shimonoseki Shipyard) also contracted Naikai Zosen Corporation (1940-founded company specializing in manufacturing and ship repairs) to provide various equipment based on energy-saving technologies.

The vessel Sunflower Murasaki (MHI Shimonoseki yard/hull number 1225) was launched/floated out from drydock on August 30, 2022, and commissioned/entered service on April 14, 2023, with the maiden voyage leaving from Osaka Nanko Terminal.

The ship's godmother was Maya Nakanishi (1985-born Paralympic athlete competing in the categories T44 sprint and long jump). In the "2008 Summer Paralympics" (Beijing, China) she finished 4th (200 m) and 6th (100 m) in the F44 class (mild limb loss, muscle weakness/restrictions in the legs, without prosthetics). The christening ceremony (on Aug 30th, 2022) was held at Shimonoseki Shipyard's Enoura Plant and was also attended by Junichiro Ikeda (MOL Group's President & CEO), Mitsujiro Akasaka (Ferry Sunflower Company's President) and Toru Kitamura (Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Company's President).

Sunflower Murasaki is Japan's second large cruiseferry (after Kurenai) that is LNG-powered. The LNG bunkering (by Kyushu Electric Power Co Inc) is provided at Port Beppu and is via a tank truck. The LNG supply is required once per roundtrip. The LNG supply deal with Kyushu Electric Power was signed in December 2022.