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April 14, 2017: Express Ferry, Gomera, Canary Islands

Fred Olsen Express is an inter-island ferry service based in the Canary Islands. The company's main colours are white and yellow, with blue and red writing. The company operates a fleet of six modern fast ferries, including the world's first trimaran fast ferry, the Benchijigua Express.

Fred Olsen Express operates five routes throughout the Canaries. The company is owned by the Olsen family controlled Bonheur and Ganger Rolf, that among other things also owns the shipping companies Fred Olsen Cruise Lines and First Olsen Tankers.

Benchijigua Express:

Benchijigua Express is a fast ferry between the Canary Islands, Tenerife, La Gomera, El Hierro and La Palma. It was delivered to Olsen in April 2005. At 127 metres (417 ft) long, the Benchijigua Express is the second-longest trimaran in the world, less than a meter shy of the Independence class littoral combat ship, which was based on Benchijigua Express's design. Her body is made of aluminum and with a special offshore coating; and is the second-largest vessel with an aluminium hull. The ship's name, derived from the village of Benchijigua on La Gomera where Fred Olsen had property, was previously used twice since 1999.


Design and construction (the nuts and bolts of it):
The Benchijigua Express was built in Henderson, Western Australia. The vessel is 126.65 meters (415.5 ft) long, 30.4 meters (100 ft) wide, and has a draught of 4 meters (13 ft).  She can reach speeds of 42 knots (78 km/h; 48 mph), although her normal service speed is 36 knots (67 km/h; 41 mph).

The vessel is powered by four diesel engines of MTU Series 8000 (20V 8000 M71L), each with 9,100 kW at 1,150 rpm driven electric generators, housed in two engine rooms. Each of the two diesels in the rear engine-room drive one Kamewa 125 SII steerable waterjet propulsion from Rolls-Royce. The overall performance of both machines at the front engine room is transferred to a Kamewa 180 BII booster waterjet. The electrical energy is generated by four MTU 12V 2000 M40 generator units. Up to 1,291 passengers are distributed on two decks. Due to the short crossing time, there are no passenger cabins. For vehicle transport there are 123 car spaces and 450 meters (1,480 ft) of truck lane; the latter can be converted into an additional 218 car spaces. The vehicle deck can be loaded and unloaded in 30 minutes.

The ship's name is now used for the third time since 1999. The first Benchijigua Express (IMO number: 9206712) was entered into service in 1999 and renamed Bentayga Express in 1999. The second Benchijigua Express (IMO No: 9213337) started its service between Los Cristianos and San Sebastian in January 2000. In November 2004 she was renamed Bentago Express to free the name for this vessel.

Yes, it's goes as good as it looks!  We used it to get to and from the us from Tenerife.

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For a list of Ian Cook's photography and TravelGumbo contributions, please click on this link.


Images (5)
  • Benchijigua Express, Canary Islands
  • Benchijigua Express, Canary Islands
  • Benchijigua Express, Canary Islands
  • Benchijigua Express, Canary Islands
  • Benchijigua Express, Canary Islands

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