The Express bathtubs arrived this Monday at the Port of Las Palmas after 18 days of maiden voyage. The high-speed multihull vessel with which the shipping company Fred. Olsen Express consolidates its commitment to trimarans to link Gran Canaria and Tenerife docked for the first time in the Archipelago around ten in the morning after traveling half the planet from the Philippine island of Cebu, where it has just been built at the Austal shipyard facilities.
Gone are almost three weeks of crossing the Indian Ocean, the Suez Canal, the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean on a journey of about 9,500 miles not without surprises, such as the encounter with the frigate Navarre of the Navy in the waters of the Gulf of Aden, and of great maritime moments, such as the crossing of the Suez Canal. Ahead, a whole seafaring life in the Canary Islands connecting the two capital islands that will begin this Thursday, when he sets sail for the first time from Agaete in what is already known as ‘trimaran line’ with its twin, the Bajamar Express.
The arrival of new Fred emblem. Olsen It took place shortly before ten o’clock in the morning and with it, the meeting of the Bañaderos Express with its twin, the result of the same shipbuilding contract that was incorporated into the company’s fleet last year and sails most of the time between Gran Canaria and Tenerife. Yesterday they crossed in front of Alcaravaneras beach, in the inner dock of the Port of Las Palmas, and greeted each other with a peculiar choreography, turning on themselves while the tugboats performed the traditional water salute as a welcome detail to the venue of the capital of Gran Canaria.
It was not, in any case, the first time that two new boats from Fred. Olsen they met at sea. Early in the morning, as the sun began to rise, they shared a few miles of journey on the channel between Fuerteventura and Gran Canaria when the Bajamar Express performed the first regular operation of the day and the Express bathtubs He was heading for the last leg of his long positioning journey.
At the foot of the dock, Fred’s managers were waiting. Olsen Express and a good part of the company team that for the last three years has worked on the trimarans project. Together with them, stationed in a privileged place on the roof of the terminal, they the relatives of the 18 crew members who have been in charge of bringing the trimaran to the Canary Islands. From there they had a privileged view while they waited for the moment to reunite with their loved ones after more than a month of absence.
The Bolette, a cruise of Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines that coincidentally yesterday was making a stopover on the rising side of the Santa Catalina pier, sounded its typhoon as a warning: the Bañaderos Express was already looming over the Grande Pier and was about to reach its destination. Next to the freight ramps, the director of the Port Authority of Las Palmas, Francisco Javier Trujillo Ramírez; the sea captain of Las Palmas, Francisco Garcia Lascurain; Fred’s CEO. Olsen, Andres Marin; the fleet manager, Juan Ignacio Liaño; the company’s human resources director, Zahily perez; the head of the shipping company’s technical department, Iván Fernández; and the head of services on board, Erik lehman.
Applause and hugs
From inside the ship came the sound of the applause of the crew as the rear doors of the Bañaderos Express were finally left open at ten past ten in the morning. The first to approach the newcomers were Marín, Trujillo and García Lascurain, who melted into a hug with the coordinating captain of the trimaran, Juan Antonio Rojas. One by one they saluted other officers, such as Jorge Lentini or Rafael Abreu, and the rest of the crew. Among them was David Mateos, who has been displaced in the Philippines as a liaison with the shipyard throughout the construction of the ship and has only visited the Canary Islands on a few occasions during this time. In a short act, the CEO of Fred. Olsen gave him a mention shortly after thanking him for his dedication to the trimaran, even in the midst of the pandemic and thousands of kilometers away from his family.
The first visit inside the Express bathtubs it took place shortly after the formal greetings. The crew members were finally able to show their families the nooks and crannies of what has been their home over the last few weeks, while those responsible for the shipping company learned in detail the technical specifications of the new ship. At the end of the tour of the passenger lounges, shops, and coffee shops, Fred’s CEO. Olsen delivered the sea captain a meticulous replica of the trimaran, which has a naval registration from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. García Lascurain congratulated the shipping company for the new addition to the fleet and highlighted Express bathtubs that it is a “sustainable boat that represents an important leap in the connection of the Islands”. In the early afternoon, the trimaran cleared the dock at Muelle Grande normally used for the line to Morro Jable and sailed to the north side of the Santa Catalina dock, where it will remain until the transfer to Agaete.
The fleeting encounter of Express bathtubs and the Bajamar Express in the Port of Las Palmas it will become commonplace on the high seas as of Thursday, when the two ships are finally destined for the route between Gran Canaria and Tenerife. “Today is a very happy day for Fred’s family. Olsen ”, acknowledged the CEO of the shipping company shortly after the Express bathtubs will be docked next to the passenger and freight terminal of the Big Pier. With its incorporation, the company culminates a fleet upgrade project that started in 2017 with an investment of close to 140 million euros to “give a quality leap in the maritime service between the two capital islands,” he stressed.
It will share crossings with its twin, the ‘Bajamar Express’, on the route between the capital islands
The Express bathtubs It also reinforces the strategic commitment to trimarans for the inter-island lines that Fred has. Olsen started in 2005 with the Benchijigua Express. The decision responds, according to Marín, to the greater comfort offered by this type of ship to passengers due to its construction design. “These boats have been tested and it has been found that they are the ones that cause the least dizziness,” he said. The three points of support with those they have, they facilitate a smoother movement over the sea that is more comfortable for passengers, according to the shipping company.
As he Express bathtubs As the Bajamar Express they reach a 38 knot service speed thanks to the power of its main engines -four MTU 8000 of 9,100 kilowatts- and the lightness of its design. Before carrying out its construction it was decided that in addition to the aluminum hulls, the trimarans should have ventilation equipment that weigh less and panels for the cargo hold made of lighter materials.
A frigate in the Indian Ocean
One of the most unique moments of the Bañaderos Express trip between the Philippines and the Canary Islands took place in the Gulf of Aden, an area near the Horn of Africa with frequent incidents of piracy. The ‘Operation Atalanta’ of the European Union has been deployed for years and it is currently part of the Spanish Navy frigate Navarra, which also has a crew from the Archipelago. During the crossing between the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea, the Navy ship had the opportunity to cross Fred’s trimaran. Olsen, although the encounter was not due to any incident. The main captain of the Bañaderos Express, Juan Antonio Rojas, showed his emotion yesterday when he remembered the meeting with the frigate. | JCG