The latest addition to the fleet of Rapska plovidba d.d. will help connect Rab island with the mainland
A new ferry, commissioned by Rapska plovidba d.d., was launched earlier today in the shipyard in Kraljevica, reports Novi list on September 16, 2017.
Rapska plovidba d.d. is a local shipping company whose main activity is connecting Rab island with the mainland. In recent years, they’ve been operating on two routes and dispose of five ferry boats: Barbat, Sveti Marin, Sveti Kristofor, Rab, and Maslina. It’s worth noting all ferries except Barbat were built in local shipyards, and the fleet has an average age of 15 years. Rapska plovidba is planning to sell their oldest ferry ‘Rab’ in 2018, lowering the average age of the fleet to 9 years.
The latest addition was named Četiri zvonika (Four Belltowers), paying tribute to one of the best known features of Rab town.
According to Novi list, the construction project called for an investment of almost 8 million euro, partially financed by the company’s funds, while the rest of the amount was covered by a bank loan. The new ferry is 79 metres long, 17.5 metres wide, and has a capacity of 100 personal vehicles and 600 passengers. It will be operated by a crew of eight members.
Dragan Andrić, CEO of Rapska plovidba d.d., called the project the greatest accomplishment achieved by a local shipping company when it comes to connecting an island with the mainland. “Multiple generations of our employees and seafarers can be proud, as well as the entire population of Rab, as the company is entirely owned by local residents, making Rapska plovidba a unique example in Croatian maritime affairs”, said Andrić.
Sanja Grozdanić, the director of ‘Pahuljica’ Kindergarten and a coach in the Kayak Club ‘Rab 83’, was chosen to be the ship sponsor. According to Andrić, they wish for Grozdanić to inspire some of the children she helps raise to decide for a career in maritime affairs one day.
The new ferry was commissioned in order to improve the service quality and to shorten the waiting periods in ferry ports in summer months. The shipping company thus showed they are willing to invest in the future and safety of passenger transport, a move by which they secured a new concession contract for the state ferry line Stinica-Mišnjak. They’ve been operating on that route before, but have now signed a new contract for a period of ten years; if it weren’t for the new addition to the fleet, they would have only got six. “This is a great honour, but also a major obligation to continue the rich maritime tradition of Rab island”, said Andrić.
This also marks an important achievement for Kraljevica shipyard, as the new ferry is the first ship to get launched in the last seven years; the shipyard was taken over by the local Dalmont d.d. company in 2014.
Četiri zvonika will start operating on the Stinica-Mišnjak line at the beginning of the next summer season.