Virtu Ferries took delivery of the Auto Express 68 design car and passenger fast ferry M/V Maria Dolores Austal from builders Austal Ship of Western Australia in 2006. The vessel was deployed on the Company’s Malta-Sicily-Malta service between 2006 and 2010. She played a major role in the evacuation of citizens, from all over the world, during the Libya Crises in 2011. The vessel temporarily ceased operating between Spain and Morocco with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Maria Dolores carries 600 passengers and 65 cars or 95 Truck Lane Metres and 35 cars. The Main Deck accommodates 508 passengers in Tourist Class. The Club Class on the Bridge Deck provides seating for a further 92 passengers. There is additional seating on the aft outdoor deck at this level.
The vessel is built in accordance with the requirements and under the survey of the Det Norske Veritas-GL, conforming to International Maritime Organisation codes and Malta Flag State and Italian Port State Regulations. Maria Dolores flies the Malta Flag.
|Year of build:||2006|
|Built by:||Austal Ships, WA|
|Vessel type:||High Speed Craft|
|Length Overall:||68.4 meters|
|Vehicles:||65 cars or 35 cars and 95 truck lane meters|
|Propulsion:||4x Rolls – Royce KaMeWa Water Jets|
|Main engines:||6x MTU 4000 series M73|
|Service Speed:||36 knots|