Richardson Devine Marine Constructions were selected through a competitive tender process to build Mona Roma II – formally named “FREYA”. The name aptly chosen from Norse mythology where Freya is described as ‘something of a party girl’.
Freya is a 29m little sister to MR-1 which also came from the drawing boards of Commercial Boat Design, headed up by Kim Chamberlin.
The vessel is unlike any other in layout and style providing the versatility that the operator sought to be able to utilise the boat across a spectrum of opportunity, from regular passenger service to Hobart’s famous Museum of Old and New Art – MONA, to catering for weddings or extravagant corporate functions.
The thirty-minute ferry ride from Brooke Street Pier in downtown Hobart to Mona is a much loved part of the Mona experience. It certainly gets visitors in the mood for mischief before they even arrive at the museum. The new ferry builds on that tradition. Interior designers Georgia Freeman and Damian Scott decided the new ferry should feel like an evil billionaire’s lair, with nods to James Bond and Austin Powers. As a result you’ll find shag pile carpet, wallaby fur lined booths, wood panelling, mirrored ceilings, a gold walled latrine and an exotic jungle on the top deck featuring tigers and monkeys. Naturally, being an evil billionaire’s lair there are also fully stocked bars every few metres, so guests can arrive at Mona fully hydrated.
The tongue-in-cheek theme extends to the exterior treatment of the ferry, with the vessel wrapped in what the designers have described as ‘subliminal camouflage’, that may or may not involve images of nude villainesses with machine guns. Says Mona Director of Marketing and Communication Robbie Brammall: “We’re fairly confident in will be the most instagrammable ferry in Berriedale.”
The vessel was commissioned to meet expanding visitor demand at Mona, which now exceeds 400,000 visitors a year – 180,000 of whom choose to arrive by ferry. The extra capacity will enable an expanded timetable and some much anticipated new products – like an After Hours Ferry that will bring diners to Mona’s restaurants long after the museum has shut for the day.
Another notable feature of the new ferry is an expanded ‘Posh Pit’, which is an opulent VIP club in the forward section of the vessel, where guests are treated to complimentary drinks and canapes. And yes, it also features a gorilla.
The vessel is in 1E service for operations in the River Derwent but can easily be changed to 1D if required for future operations. MAN engines and Twin Disc gearboxes power Freya to a service speed of 22 knots.
Kohler gensets in sound shields with special attention to minimising any vibrations or rattles along with under carpet and engine room sound proofing insulation offer a quiet, smooth ride.