CMA CGM owned ferry operator, La Méridionale has ordered two ropaxes for its mainland Europe/Corsica service for around €400 mill in total.
The two French flag ships will be built by the Chinese shipyard CMI Jinling Weihei, which was responsible for the Stena E-Flexers.
They are claimed to be environmentally friendly with a reduction in CO2 emissions of up to 50% and are due to be delivered by the first quarter of 2027.
Each ropax will be fitted with 264 cabins able to accommodate 1,000 passengers, as well as 2,000 lane metres for freight.
Designed by the interior architecture studio Jean-Philippe Nuel and Stirling Design, the accommodation will prioritise aesthetics, comfort, the durability of materials and accessibility for people with reduced mobility, the ferry company said.
With a length of 180 m and a beam of 30.8 m, the two ships will offer seven types of cabins, accommodating two to four people, including a new luxury category of 21 cabins with balconies.
They will be powered by LNG, thus reducing sulphur and fine particle emissions by 99%, and NOx emissions by 80%. The LNG will fuel two electric propulsion motors of 10.5 MW each per ship.
When berthed, thanks to their shoreside electrical connections or their 13 MWh battery packs, they will no longer emit polluting emissions for the comfort of local residents.
Other technological solutions, such as 5-blade propellers with an optimised design, cabin energy optimisation, recovery and storage of energy in the form of hot water, and the optimisation of the hull at appropriate speeds, will contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions and underwater noise emissions, the company claimed.
These new ships will also be built ready to utilise a variety of alternative fuels, including biogas and synthetic methane.
Jean-Emmanuel Sauvée, President of La Méridionale, said: “With the support of its new shareholder, CMA CGM, La Méridionale is building a new chapter in its history.
“This order demonstrates our unwavering commitment to serving Corsica as part of our public service delegation, our desire to offer a modern and unique experience to our customers, and our commitment to limit our environmental footprint.
“With their cutting-edge features, these two vessels will undoubtedly set new benchmarks in the industry,” he said.