Lite Ferries is set to boost its ship operations with the launch last week of its biggest and latest acquisition, the Roro passenger ferry “M/V LITE FERRY 18” with a gross tonnage of 3,881 tons which can carry 856 passengers.
Lite Ferry 18’s arrival will bolster the passenger and cargo carrying capacity of Lite Ferries in the Cebu to CDO route as it will replace the vessel “M/V Lite Ferry 8” which used to service the route. It will cover the regular schedule of Cebu to Cagayan de Oro every Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 7:00 PM, while Cagayan de Oro to Cebu every Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 7:00 PM.
Lite Ferry 18 will be the youngest ship plying the Cebu-Cagayan route (year built 2002) and, as of today, the fastest passenger vessel in terms of travel time in the said route at 9 hours only. The vessel is equipped with two brand-new Ningbo diesel engines with a total combined power of 7,800 HP. It can achieve a maximum speed of 16.8 knots but will run a service speed of 15 knots.
The vessel is 92 meters long and 17 meters wide coastwise type, RO-RO passenger ferry built originally in China under CCS (China Classification Society) and can carry double the former load capacity of Lite Ferry 8.
Lite Ferry 18 boasts of interior designed passenger accommodations with hotel-like features and amenities like a fully air-conditioned 35-seater restaurant, a fully stocked canteen that is open overnight, an information/reception desk and a multi-purpose kiosk. It has two passenger decks that has non-aircon economy, aircon tourist and executive business class areas plus four spacious cabins. Its deck passageways are bigger than present Marina standards and its safety and navigational facilities are international maritime standards compliant.
After the successful debut of its newest world-class RO-RO passenger catamaran ferry, “LITE FERRY 88” last April 2018, Lite Ferry 18 is the second out of five vessels to be acquired by Lite Ferries this year. Its sister ship, M/V Lite Ferry 19, with the same GRT and capacity will be deployed in November this year while the incoming brand-new IACS classed ships, namely Lite Ferry Five and Lite Ferry Nine are arriving this December 2018 and January 2019, respectively.
At present, Lite Ferries operates a total fleet of 25 roro passenger ferries in Visayas and Mindanao. Lite Ferries connects the islands of Cebu, Bohol, Siquijor, Negros, Samar, Leyte, and Northern Mindanao with 22 destinations. It is fully compliant with International Safety Management Code as established by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and MARINA. Lite Ferries is now undergoing ISO certification for its operations.
Starting October 2018, LITE FERRIES main offices will be transferred to their new corporate building located at Lite Port Center, M.J. Cuenco Avenue, Barangay Tejero, Cebu City.