New ferry marks German operator’s 125 years

24 Jun 2010
The new double-ended ‘Uthlande’ ferry

The new double-ended ‘Uthlande’ ferry

German ferry company Wyker Dampfschiffs-Reederei has celebrated its 125th anniversary with the Inauguration of its newest double-ended ferry, ‘Uthlande’.

The ship was built at the Sietas Shipyard in Hamburg, and travelled from the yard across the River Elbe and the North Sea to Wyk auf Föhr, its new base harbour on the North Sea Island. The ferry was christened during the festivities, and has been operating on the Föhr-Amrum route since 15 June.

According to  Axel Meynköhn, managing director of WDR,  tourism in one’s own country has become a significant trend and the new ship reflects the growing number of visitors to the North Frisian Islands.

In 2009, WDR’s fleet of six passenger and vehicle ferries transported more than 1.8 million passengers on the Föhr-Amrum line as well as 320,000 vehicles, generating a turnover of €29 million.

Uthlande’s double-ended design avoids time-consuming manoeuvres in the harbour. The ship has a total installed power of 2,160 kW, driving four Voith-Schneider propellers, with a 12 knot service speed.

The ferry carries 75 cars (50% more than its predecessor) as well as up to 1,200 passengers. The piers in Föhr, Amrum and Dagebüll harbours are being rebuilt to improve passenger access with the new design of ship.

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