MS Spirit of Tasmania I

MS Spirit of Tasmania I is a fast ropax ferry owned by TT-Line Pty. Ltd. and operated on the route between Melbourne and Devonport. She was built in 1998 by Kvaerner Masa-Yards at Turku New Shiyard in Finland for Superfast Ferries as MS Superfast IV. From 2002 onwards she sails for TT-Line Pty. Ltd. as MS Spirit of Tasmania I alongside the Spirit of Tasmania II.[1]

Spirit of Tasmania I at Devonport Tasmania
  • 1998–2002: Superfast IV
  • 2002—present: Spirit of Tasmania I
  • 1998–2002: Superfast Ferries
  • 2003–2006: TT-Line Pty. Ltd.[1]
Port of registry:

1998–2002: Patras-Ancona

2002 onwards: Melbourne-Devonport
Builder: Kvaerner Masa-Yards Turku New Shipyard, Finland
Yard number: 1341[1]
Status: In service
General characteristics
Class and type: Superfast III class fast ropax ferry
Length: 194.3 m (637 ft 6 in)
Beam: 25.00 m (82 ft)
Draught: 6.55 m (21 ft 6 in)
Decks: 11
Installed power:
Speed: 30.8 kn (57.04 km/h) maximum speed
  • 1400 passengers
  • 750 berths
  • 500 cars[3]
  • 1852 lanemeters

Concept and construction

The Superfast IV was the second ship of the second pair (the former pair being Superfast I & Superfast II built in Germany) built for Attica Group's subsidiary Superfast Ferries at Kvaerner Masa-Yards for their Adriatic Sea services from Patras to Ancona She was a sister ship of Superfast III.[1]

Amenities and deck layout

Spirit of Tasmania I has 11 decks, with 222 cabins.

  • Decks 1 to 6 are used to hold cars and trucks. The for-end of Decks 1 and 2 are accessed via a ramp from deck 3 (The Aft-end space of the two decks houses the ships machinery). Deck 6 holds cars using a hoistable platform.
  • Deck 7 has cabins, a reception area, small movie theater, lounge bar, gaming lounge, gift shop, tourism bureau, main bar, two restaurants and a children's playroom.
  • Deck 8 has cabins and an ocean recliner area.
  • Deck 9 is mainly crew area.
  • Deck 10 has a bar and disco area.
  • Deck 11 has a helicopter landing pad.

Service history

1998–2002: Superfast IV

The Superfast IV entered service on 1 April 1998 on Superfast Ferries' PatrasAncona route.[1] In March 2002 the Superfast IV was sold to TT-Line Pty. Ltd.

2002 Onwards: Spirit of Tasmania I

TT-Line took over their new ship on 10 May of the same year she along with her sister were handed over to TT-Line Pty. Ltd. At Patras.[4] The two ships then sailed to the Neorion ship yard on the island of Syros for painting and general overhaul and renamed Spirit of Tasmania I.[1] She subsequently sailed to Hobart, Tasmania, where she was refitted for her new service. On 1 September 2002 she entered service on TT-Line's MelbourneDevonport route.[1] The new pair of ships were very popular and the Tasmanian Government decided that a third ship was needed for a Devonport-Sydney service, subsequently purchasing a third superfast ferry and renaming it Spirit of Tasmania III. However it proved to be unprofitable and the ship was sold in September 2006.

2005 event

During the night of 3 / 4 February 2005 Spirit of Tasmania I ran into heavy seas in the Bass Strait while sailing from Melbourne to Devonport. At approximately 2 am the seas reached a height of 20 metres.[1] The seas smashed cabin windows on the starboard bow and subsequently cabin walls were smashed down, flooding cabin decks as high as deck 9[5] (the deck under the bridge). Many passengers were unaware of the cause of water in their cabins as the water disabled the public announcement system.[5] The captain decided it best to return to Melbourne,[5] arriving mid morning to heavy media coverage. The ship remained in port overnight for temporary repairs and sailed again the following evening for Devonport.


  1. Asklander, Micke. "M/S Superfast IV (1998)". Fakta om Fartyg (in Swedish). Retrieved 19 May 2008.
  2. "Spirit of Tasmania Vessel Specifications". Retrieved 9 March 2011.
  3. "Quick facts". Retrieved 3 June 2019.
  4. Latreche, Lucas. "Spirit of Tasmania I". Ferries And Cruse Ships. Retrieved 20 May 2008.
  5. Jackson, Andra (4 February 2005). "Pounded by wild seas, Spirit forced to turn tail". The Age. Melbourne. Retrieved 20 May 2008.

Media related to Spirit of Tasmania I (ship, 1998) at Wikimedia Commons

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