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Fast cats

by hidden europe

Picture above: FRS’ Skane Jet en route between Germany and Sweden (photo © FRS Baltic GmbH licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0).


The current record for the fastest Atlantic crossing was set in 1998 by an Incat catamaran capable of carrying 600 passengers and 200 cars. That same vessel is still in day-to-day service as a ferry. We'll go in search of the Skane Jet.

Any mention of the Blue Riband, the informal accolade accorded to the passenger ship with the fastest Atlantic crossing time, invariably evokes images of the illustrious ocean liners of yesteryear. Among the vessels which have claimed the prize are the Cunard liners Mauretania and Queen Mary. The Blue Riband isn’t an official award, and there’s no real consensus over what counts or does not count as an eligible crossing. With express crossings of the Atlantic by ocean liners very much a thing of the past, the Blue Riband no longer commands the attention it once did. But the quest for speed continues and now the competition for the fastest Atlantic crossings by vessels designed for regular commercial passenger use has shifted to ocean-going catamarans.

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