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Superfast shuttle boat trials ahead of launch

Superfast shuttle boat trials ahead of launch

By Stephanie Horsman - January 20, 2021

An innovative new shuttle boat called Monaco One, which combines maritime and aeronautical technology, will be able to transport passengers from the new port in Ventimiglia to Monaco in just 10 minutes. 

The eco-friendly navette is currently undergoing sea trials between the newly opened Cala del Forte marina in Ventimiglia and Monaco. It is set to be launched this spring, giving passengers a smooth and swift 10-minute journey between the two locations.

The catamaran-style boat is equipped with two 350 horsepower engines that boast lower fuel consumption and can reach speeds of 85 to 90 kilometres.

“The air which rushes under the hull makes it possible to have a boat which, finally, has little lift on the water and therefore consumes half the fuel than a normal boat,” explained Daniel Realini, the Deputy General Manager of Société Monégasque Internationale Portuaire (SMIP), to local media.

The environmentally-friendly aspects of the airplane wing-shaped Monaco One made the €1.2 million price tag more palatable, and when final testing is completed at the end of February the shuttle will be ready to take on passengers.

The 12-person service is free and will be operational in time for the Monaco Grand Prix and other planned events in spring, though casual day-trippers will not be invited to climb aboard. The service is the exclusive domain of those who are mooring in the Cala del Forte port in Italy.

Monaco One is the third aerodynamic lift vessel to be built by French company Advanced Aerodynamic Vessels (A2V). Its design gives those onboard the impression they are floating on air, and despite the speed at which it travels the ride is smooth with little to no bounce.

“The boat has an inverted wing shape. It is a design that combines marine technique with that of aeronautics,” said Mr Realini.

The Cala del Forte marina was opened to boats in October and now has 20 vessels moored out of 178 spaces. The occupation level is not high at the moment, but this is expected to change come summer time when space is at a premium in the Principality.

Facilities will be completed by April, possibly before, making it ready for the official inauguration scheduled for July. Prince Albert II will be in attendance for the event.

 

Photo by Advanced Aerodynamic Vessels (A2V)

 

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