I was wondering what the fastest ship is TODAY.
When I say “ship”, I mean “passenger vessel”. Now I don’t doubt that there are some super-charged speed-boats out there, but my criteria is a large vessel that carries paying passengers.
Ocean Liner fans will know of the SS United States, built in 1952 for the United States Line. She broke the transatlantic speed record on her maiden voyage. She still holds the Blue Riband for being the fastest ocean liner of all time. They say she could achieve 38 knots. (The SS United States was laid-up in 1996 and her fate remains uncertain).
Given the fact that she was a bloody-great Ocean liner carrying 2,000+ passengers, that is a VERY impressive and unparalleled achievement.
The Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 must certainly be one of today’s fastest cruise ships (liner). She can achieve 30 knots, which is faster than most.
People no longer cruise for speed. My research tells me that Fast-Ferries (SeaCats etc.) hold the maritime speed records today.
The fastest ferry on the planet is Incat’s ‘Francisco’ (2012). She operates on the Rio de la Plata estuary (River Plate) between Buenos Aires, Argentina and Montevideo, Uruguay.
The 99-metre long ‘Wave Piercing Catamaran’ accommodates 1024 passengers and 150 cars. Her water-jet engines can achieve a maximum speed of up to 58.1 knots, or 67 mph.
Interestingly she can be powered by duel fuel, one being LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) which looks set to also be the future choice of cruise ships.
Video of ‘Francisco’ HERE
Malcolm says: The various fast-ferries around the world are very impressive. However their service normally has to be suspended when the seas get rough. Condor currently operate fast-ferries up to a 3.5 meter wave height. After this they become very uncomfortable for passengers. In contrast the QM2 is designed to cross the North Atlantic, in winter, whatever the weather.
The SRN4 Hovercraft HERE