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Thursday, November 1, 2018 

London Riverbus operator MBNA Thames Clippers has named its newest and largest vessel at its Cowes, Isle of Wight builder.

The 35m catamaran Venus Clipper – pictured under construction at the Wight Shipyard in East Cowes – will be the 19th vessel in the company’s fleet when completed in the first-quarter of 2019. 

Sean Collins, CEO and co-founder of MBNA Thames Clippers, said: “Everyone in the business is very excited about Venus Clipper and what it represents. I never would have believed when we started out that MBNA Thames Clippers would get to where it is today – a vital cog in London’s transport infrastructure.

“Earlier this year we celebrated carrying our 40 millionth customer – not bad for a business that had just 80 passengers on its first day back in 1999. It proves that the demand for river transport is there and we are only scratching the surface when it comes to moving people around the capital.”

With a capacity of 222 passengers Venus Clipper has 50 more seats on board than its sister Hunt-class vessels Mercury Clipper and Jupiter Clipper, which joined the fleet in summer 2017. Like the two sister ships, Venus Clipper will be powered by two Scania diesel engines driving Rolls-Royce Kamewa waterjets through ZF gearboxes.

The £3.8 million contract with Wight Shipyard to build Venus Clipper continues a long-running association between the two businesses and makes a significant economic contribution. In all, more than 100 businesses in the UK’s Southeast region are involved in the delivery supply chain.

Venus Clipper should enable the service to carry an additional 300,000 passengers annually, and will be used across the operator’s six routes depending on demand, as well as to support specialist charters and cruise transfer requirements for the Central London Moorings. MBNA Thames Clippers’ six river bus routes call at 22 piers across London, connecting Putney in the west with Woolwich in the east.

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