New Yarmouth-Lymington ferry launched in Croatia

The first of Wightlink’s new fleet of ships for its Lymington to Yarmouth car ferry route has been launched at a Croatian shipyard. Called Wight Light, it was launched in a ceremony at Brodogradiliste Kraljevica in front of a 23-strong group from Wightlink by seven-year old Croatian schoolgirl Nevia Pravdica.

It will enter service in the summer and will eventually be joined by two others, also under construction at the shipyard. Four metres longer and less than one metre wider, the larger ferries have provoked protests from other Lymington harbour users.

Incorporating around 700 tons of steel, the new ferries will each be able to carry up to 360 passengers and 65 cars and are said by Wightlink to offer greater loading flexibility as well as more attractive on-board facilities.

Wightlink marketing manager Kerry Jackson said: “We were delighted to see the large numbers of local people who came out to cheer on the launch ceremony and we are now looking forward to getting the ship ready for its sail back to the UK.”

The second of Wightlink’s new fleet, Wight Sky, has been constructed alongside Wight Light and is scheduled for a launch at the end of March. Both ships will then undergo sea trials in Croatia before Wightlink accepts them. If all goes to plan, the two ferries will be sailed back to the UK late May by Wightlink crews.

The keel of the third ferry will be laid at Brodogradiliste Kraljevica after the launch of Wight Light.

(Southern Daily Echo)