MS Spirit of Tasmania II

MS Spirit of Tasmania II is a super 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 Shipyard in Finland for Superfast Ferries as MS Superfast III. From 2002 onwards she sails for TT-Line Pty. Ltd. as MS Spirit of Tasmania II.

Spirit of Tasmania II at port in Devonport, Tasmania
  • 1998–2002: Superfast III
  • 2002–present: ‘The Big Spirit of Tasmania II
  • 1998–2002: Superfast Ferries
  • 2003–2006: TT-Line Pty. Ltd.[1]
Port of registry:

1998–2002: PatrasAncona

2002 onwards: MelbourneDevonport
Builder: Kvaerner Masa-Yards Turku New Shipyard, Finland
Yard number: 1340[1]
Completed: 1998
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)
Installed power:
  • 4 × Sulzer 16ZA40S diesels
  • 42,240 kW
Speed: 30.8 knots (57.0 km/h; 35.4 mph) maximum speed
  • 1,400 passengers
  • 750 berths
  • 500 cars[3]
  • 1,852 lanemeters

Concept and construction

The Superfast III was the first ship of the second pair (the former pair being Superfast I and 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 MS Superfast IV.[1]

Amenities and deck layout

Spirit of Tasmania II 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 ship's 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 III

The Superfast III entered service on 16 March 1998 on Superfast Ferries' PatrasAncona route.[1] On 1 November 1999 en route from Patras to Ancona a fire broke out in a freezer trailer on the vehicle deck, most likely in the electrical system. The ship's vehicle deck drenching system along with crew put the blaze out. All 307 passengers and 106 crew were evacuated and picked up by nearby ships.[4]

The ship arrived back in Patras the day after the disaster, and investigations began. 14 dead bodies were found in a truck.[5] These bodies were later identified as refugees from Kurdistan.[5] After the investigations had concluded, the Superfast III set sail for the Blohm + Voss shipyards in Hamburg, Germany for repairs, arriving there on 3 December.

The repairs took 71 days during which 450 tons of steel, 84 km of cable, 1,200 m2 of insulation material and cladding were replaced, and a new tilting ramp and new public areas were installed.[6][7] The cost to the underwriter (Attica Enterprises) was US$26 million.[5] On 3 March she arrived back in Greece and once again operated on the Patras–Ancona route. In March 2002 the Superfast III was sold to TT-Line Pty. Ltd..[1]

2002 Onwards: Spirit of Tasmania II

TT-Line took over their new ship on 10 May 2002.[1] Along with her sister ship Superfast IV, she was handed over to TT-Line Pty. Ltd. at Patras.[5] The two ships then sailed to the Neorion ship yard on the island of Syros. During the ship's dry docking, works such as painting the new livery and superstructure, as well as a general overhaul were carried out. At the yard she was renamed Spirit of Tasmania II.[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]

Between 21 July and 8 August 2014 the ship was docked for maintenance at the Captain Cook Graving Dock in Sydney.[8][9]

On 13 January 2016, the ship broke from her moorings at Station Pier, Melbourne during a storm and was withdrawn for repairs.[10][11] The ship was repaired and re-entered service on 17 January.


  1. Asklander, Micke. "M/S Superfast III (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. "Stowaways die in ferry fire". BBC News. 2 November 1999. Retrieved 20 May 2008.
  5. Latreche, Lucas. "Spirit of Tasmania II". Ferries And Cruse Ships. Retrieved 20 May 2008.
  6. Blohm+Voss Repair GmbH. "Repair Fire". Blohm+Voss Repair GmbH. Archived from the original on 8 July 2011. Retrieved 30 May 2009.
  7. MacGREGOR. "Superfast repair by MacGREGOR". MacGREGOR. Retrieved 16 January 2012.
  8. "Spirit of Tasmania - Timetable - 2014 DRY DOCK SCHEDULE". TT-Line Company Pty Ltd. 2014. Retrieved 8 August 2014.
  9. "Sydney Ports - Ship Schedule - Sydney Harbour - Departures". Sydney Ports. 8 August 2014. Archived from the original on 20 August 2013. Retrieved 8 August 2014.
  10. Investigation launched as Spirit of Tasmania breaks free from moorings at Melbourne's Station Pier Herald Sun 14 January 2016
  11. Spirit of Tasmania breaks free from its moorings at Station Pier The Mercury 14 January 2016

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