A new cutting-edge passenger fast ferry, Xin Ming Xhu VIII, is now servicing commuters on Hong Kong’s iconic waterways after leading global digital shipbuilder Incat Crowther delivered the first of six new passenger fast ferries to mass transit operator Sun Ferry. Xin Ming Xhu VIII, built by Guangzhou-based shipbuilder AFAI Southern Shipyard, is now in operation on the busy Central Ferry Pier to Mui Wo and Cheung Chau commuter routes in Hong Kong.

Capable of transporting up to 500 passengers in safety and comfort, the new low-draft vessel features Incat Crowther's latest generation hull form providing significant improvements on previous generation vessels.

Designed to provide an elevated customer experience, Xin Ming Xhu VIII’s air-conditioned main deck features spacious seating for 299 passengers including six wheelchair spaces and two dedicated areas for customers travelling with pets. It also caters to parents, with stroller storage areas and private change table facilities. In addition, there is a storage space for walking frames and mobility aids for passengers with restricted mobility. Large internal luggage storage spaces have been incorporated into the design of the main deck, including a protected 7m2 cargo area.

Boarding efficiency has been optimised via three locations on both the port and starboard sides of the main deck, while large internal and external staircases lead to the upper deck which can accommodate an additional 201 passengers. The air-conditioned upper deck also hosts a large, elevated wheelhouse which provides crew with a 360-degree view.

Commenting on the delivery of Xin Ming Xhu VIII, Incat Crowther’s Technical Manager Sam Mackay said: “The delivery of this vessel is the culmination of a collaborative design and construction process between our team of naval architects and the teams at Sun Ferry and AFAI Southern Shipyard.”

“Not only has this vessel been delivered on time, but it has exceeded performance expectations and met Sun Ferry’s brief of providing the people of Hong Kong with a world-class, mass transit customer experience,” said Mr Mackay.

“With dedicated facilities for parents, passengers with pets and the elderly – all customers are catered for by these vessels. Sun Ferry’s commitment to sustainability is also illustrated by the inclusion of 140 solar panels on the vessel’s roof providing 14 kilowatts of on-board power,” said Mr Mackay.

The second tranche of vessels in the new Sun Ferry fleet is now under construction with the final vessel expected to be delivered by the end of 2025.

To find out more about Incat Crowther’s proven track record of designing and delivering bespoke passenger ferries for mass transit operators around the world, visit –  www.incatcrowther.com/ships/ferries/commuter.