Nikolaos arrives as the fourth ferry to join Gozo Channel fleet
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“With the addition of a fourth ship to the existing fleet, the efficiency of Gozo Channel will be improved and will alleviate the hassle for all those who undergo to cross the channel,” said the Minister for Gozo Dr Justyne Caruana.
Speaking about the arrival of the Nikolaos to Gozo. She went on to explain that this ship has been chartered for a definite period until an international tender is eventually issued to lease a Gozo Channel vessel for a longer period of time.
Dr Caruana said that the additional ship will also mean a change to the ferry schedule, thus resulting in more frequent crossings, with three ships operating to the schedule, while another vessel will be devoted to commercial vehicles.“Adding another ship will address the efficiency of the company, particularly when necessary maintenance is carried out on other vessels, thereby reducing the inconvenience to those who use the service daily,” said Minister Caruana.
The Minister explained that the ship has a capacity to carry 160 vehicles and 650 passengers in the summer, which would clear all the vehicles in the marshaling area.
She added that the “ship’s engines were changed in 2009 to meet the European criteria regarding air pollution, when new Caterpillar C32 V12 engines were fitted, they are classified as Euro V emissions standard. The ship can reach a speed of 15 knots using less fuel than the existing ships operating in the company.”
Photographs: MGOZ/Terry Camilleri