Damen hands over day cruise vessel Swift to Windermere Lake Cruises

Damen Shipyards Group has delivered the MV Swift to Winander Leisure. The ship will be operated by Windermere Lake Cruises. Special about this project is that the shipyard built the vessel inland on location at Windermere in the Lake District National Park in the UK.

Over the past 40 years, Damen has delivered over 1000 of vessels via the Damen Technical Cooperation (DTC). DTC makes possible the building of Damen vessels, anywhere in the world, at non-Damen locations. This is the first DTC project that the shipbuilder has carried out in the UK.

The sections of the hull and superstructure came from Kozle, Poland, and were assembled by Damen in a car park on the lakeside owned by the client. Subsequently the Swift was transported by self propelled modular transporters (SPMTs) by road to the Lakeside (Cumbria) berth where the vessel was completed. The Swift was launched with two mobile cranes on 11 December. The horizontal and vertical transport was carried out by Mammoet.

UNESCO World Heritage site

As well as being a UK National Park, the Lake District is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Damen has worked closely with both its client and the local community in order to ensure compliance with the robust regulations in place to protect this important environment.

MV Swift is the seventeenth vessel in Windermere Lake Cruises’ fleet. The vessel is tailored to Windermere Lake Cruises’ requirements. The company is one of the UK’s most popular attractions, welcoming over 1.6 million visitors in a normal year.

To serve these people, Windermere Lake Cruises needed a vessel that was able to operate in a variety of weather conditions, year-round, picking up and dropping off passengers from small jetties around the lake. To those ends, MV Swift features covered decks with large windows and, at 34 metres, is slightly smaller than the company’s current flagships.

‘I am very happy to be delivering this special vessel,’ says Damen sales manager Mike Besijn. ‘Working together on this with Windermere Lake Cruises, we have made the project into a success. This is a very unique way of building a vessel, requiring a lot of flexibility and we could not have done it without the support of our customer. Their operational experience has been priceless to us throughout the construction process.’

The vessel measures 34.00 x 7.80 x 3.30 metres and can carry 300 passengers.

Author: Mariska Buitendijk

Mariska Buitendijk is one of SWZ|Maritime's journalists as well as the magazine's copy editor.