A NEW passenger ferry designed by Incat Crowther has entered service in Hong Kong.

Xin Ming Xhu VIII was designed by the Australian marine engineering company and built by Guangzhou-based shipbuilder AFAI Southern Shipyard.

It is the first of six new vessels on order for mass transit operator Sun Ferry.

The low-draught Xin Ming Xhu VIII has capacity for 500 passengers and features Incat Crowther’s latest generation hull form.

Incat Crowther technical manager Sam Mackay said the delivery of the vessel was the culmination of a collaborative design and construction process between Incat Crowther’s team of naval architects and the teams at Sun Ferry and AFAI Southern Shipyard.

“Not only has this vessel been delivered on time, but it has exceeded performance expectations and met Sun Ferry’s brief of providing the people of Hong Kong with a world-class, mass transit customer experience,” Mr Mackay said.

“With dedicated facilities for parents, passengers with pets and the elderly – all customers are catered for by these vessels.

“Sun Ferry’s commitment to sustainability is also illustrated by the inclusion of 140 solar panels on the vessel’s roof providing 14 kilowatts of on-board power.”

The second tranche of vessels in the new Sun Ferry fleet is now under construction with the final vessel expected to be delivered by the end of 2025.