High-speed boatbuilder Incat's latest large fast ferry, a 110-meter (361') catamaran for Virtu Ferries of Malta, left Hobart Tasmania on Feb. 6 and will arrive in Grand Harbour, Valletta, before the end of the month.

The Saint John Paul II is the 44th large commercial fast ferry delivered by Incat and the sixth in excess of 5,500 gross tonnes in the past decade.

At 1,000 dwt., the vessel is the largest RoPax catamaran ever built for operation in the Mediterranean and is the second largest in the world. The Saint John Paul II has capacity for 900 passengers on two decks and additional outside seating on both upper and lower passenger levels. The full span of the vehicle deck is designed to carry 23 heavy commercial trailers or 167 cars.

Onboard the new ferry, passengers can enjoy luxury lounges with a design based on 28 years of surveyed passenger feedback. The vessel has a three-class interior (VIP, business and economy) with a total of 1,134 seats of which 996 seats are inside and 138 outside.

There are two VIP lounges on the bridge deck. The principal lounges are on the main deck, one forward and aft, another two amidships on the port and starboard sides, and a designated truckers lounge with additional facilities. Outside seating is provided on both passenger decks.

Main propulsion comes from four 20V MTU 8000 M71L diesel engines, producing 9,100 kw (12,194 hp) each, connected to Wartsila LIX 1500R waterjets through ZF gearboxes.

During speed trials off the southern coast of Tasmania, the Saint John Paul II achieved speeds in excess of 38 knots running at 85% power and ballasted to 600 tonnes deadweight.