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 Apex BusinessToday Muscat Daily Al Isboua Al Youm
Muscat to Musandam by sea
Benoy George Thomas, July 30, 2008 Email to a friend  | Print
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It’s not a speedboat and it’s definitely not an F1 superboat. Call it the bullet ferry or a super catamaran if you will, but whichever way you look at it, the Shinas is probably as fast as it gets on water in a passenger ferry anywhere in the world.

At least for the next two months, until its sister ship Hormuz commences services on the same route. Shinas, the world’s fastest passenger ferry and diesel-powered at that, starts its services in Oman today.

With top operating speeds of nearly 52 and 56 knots (96km/hr and 104km/hr) respectively, the diesel powered Shinas and Hormuz built by Australia-based Austal for the National Ferries Company will make going to Musandam from Muscat an easy affair.

Both the Shinas and Hormuz are 65m multi-purpose passenger-vehicle catamaran ferries with a capacity to carry 208 passengers and 56 cars each. Announcing the launch of Shinas last Saturday to a select group of
dignitaries, professionals from the hospitality industry and the media, officials from the National Ferries Co, fully owned by the Ministry of National Economy, said that the Shinas would cover the 225 nautical mile approximately 420km) route between Muscat and Khasab in a little more than five hours.

The select group was also taken on a two hour-long demo run under Capt Alistair Yeats’ command that showed off the vessel’s high-speed capabilities.

A mountainous region separated from the rest of the sultanate by the UAE, Musandam has beckoned tourists, both domestic and inbo-und, for years, but getting there was a bit of a problem till now. The peninsula could earlier be accessed only by a weekly flight or by a ten hour drive that also involved passing through four immigration posts.

(Go to Shinas Video Online to see a two-minute long clip of the Shinas during its high speed trials in Australia. The ferry is powered by four MTU 20 cylinder 1163 series diesel engines, each producing 6,500kW and driving Roll-Royce-Kamewa waterjets- the wake reveals the full power of the engines)
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Reader Comments

Posted by Dave, England on August 01, 2008
It certainly look like a superb ferry. It would have been good if your story said where the ferry can be located as I am in Oman next week and would like to end my visit through Musandam to Dubai. Dave

Posted by RB YAmasani, Dubai on September 16, 2008
I will be in Muscat during 1st wek of October and want to trvel to Kasab & back. I will appreciate if the tour packag is made available.

Posted by Deepak Kumar, Muscat on September 27, 2008
The fares are getting revised as of October 1, 2008. Apparently this is in response to complaints that the fares were on the higher side before. Accordingly the National Ferries Company has said that a Muscat-Khasab (Musandam) round trip for adults travelling first class will cost RO85 (one-way ticket costs RO 45). A tourist class ticket will cost RO44 and one-way tickets will cost RO23 each. Children's tickets (up to 12 years of age) will cost costs RO40 and RO20 in the first class and RO 24 (to and fro) and RO12 (one way) in tourist class .

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