Kilimanjaro IV, with an overall length of 45m and seating on three decks for 650 passengers is a serious people mover. She is the fourth in a line delivered by RDM to Azam Marine’s Coastal Fast Ferries operation.
Many Tanzanian people have a strong affinity with the coast and the sea and the link between Dar es Salaam and the Spice Island of Zanzibar is a vital one, that seems to be growing ever stronger.
Zanzibar with its rich history and historic Stone Town offers a welcome change from the congestion and hustle and bustle of Dar es Salaam. Comfortable coastal resorts flank Zanzibar’s northern shores and are a popular escape for Tanzanian nationals, Europeans and South Africans. Many of the well to do live on Zanzibar with its more holiday like atmosphere and commute to work in Dar es Salaam.
The vast majority of this traffic travels by fast ferry and with recent monohull ferry disasters still in the memories and hearts of the locals, the new, RDM built fleet of catamarans, named after Tanzania’s famous mountain, are the chosen option.
KIV has an impressive power train. Four Cummins KTA50M2 engines rated at 1800hp, each drive a Kamewa waterjet. With a service speed of 35 knots KIV adds a whole new dimension to the 44nm journey from the mainland to Zanzibar. The crew will need to find shorter movies! The passenger accommodation is segregated in to Economy Class who are seated on the Upper deck under a streamlined awning, the bow, the mid aft deck – also under an awning and the forward main air conditioned interior deck. Business Class are seated amidships on the main deck, whilst Coastal Fast Ferries new VIP Class are seated upstairs and aft of the wheelhouse in sumptuous leather reclining lounge chairs from George Eknes from Norway. Business class eating is aso by Eknes, whilst all of the exterios and economy seats are by Beaurteaux Australia.
Coastal Fast Ferries are a well established, professionally run enterprise that have monitored their competition offering what used to be a fairly chaotic, haphazard and sometimes dangerous experience. They have set a new benchmark for marine passenger travel, with an emphasis on safety, passenger comfort, airline like efficiency and speed. They are by far the preferred carrier and with KIV’s enormous cargo bay can also offer an additional freight service.
The relationship between RDM and Azam Marine is a strong one, with RDM doing all they can to support this flourishing operation. In the meantime, the boats go back and forth carrying thousands of passengers every day and the owners and managers look ahead to develop further coastal routes.