Shipbuilder Austal said its Austal Australia arm has delivered a new high-speed trimaran ferry to JR Kyushu Jet Ferry at a ceremony held at the company’s shipyard in Henderson, Western Australia.

The 83-meter Queen Beetle is the first of its kind to be delivered to Japan and has been custom-designed to provide an enhanced passenger ferry service between Fukuoka, Japan and Busan, South Korea, Austal said.

Speaking at the delivery ceremony, Austal Chief Executive Officer David Singleton said the Queen Beetle was a unique vessel that will set a new benchmark for high-speed ferry travel in Japan.

“Queen Beetle offers international ferry passengers a truly impressive, enhanced travel experience, with new levels of comfort, luxury and amenity previously unavailable on any ferry in Japan,” he explained. “Austal’s trimaran hull design allows up to 502 passengers to travel with complete freedom to enjoy the many amenities on board, including lounges, bars, a kiosk, a retail shop and a playground, while cruising at speeds up to 37 knots.”

Featuring a customized interior designed by Eiji Mitooka of Don Design Associates in Japan, the Queen Beetle includes two classes of seating plus compartments for groups and families, a children’s play area and nursing room, outdoor viewing deck, a café and bar, duty-free shop, lockers for luggage and all-access spaces for wheelchairs and prams.

During sea trials, Austal’s MOTION CONTROL System helped the Queen Beetle to reach trial speeds in excess of 40 knots while maintaining outstanding stability and passenger comfort. Uutilizing Austal’s new MARINELINK technology that provides real-time monitoring, control and analysis of vessel performance, on board and remotely.

More than 200 Austal Australia employees were directly engaged on the design and construction of the Queen Beetle, and the company drew on more than 200 Australian businesses over the course of the project to help deliver the major export contract, worth over A$68 million ($48.5 million).

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