Today, the first fully electric ferry for Kiel’s traditional shipping company will be christened at Reventlou Bridge. “MS DÜSTERNBROOK” is the name of the new ship with the environmentally friendly drive, which will operate for Schlepp- und Fährgesellschaft Kiel mbH – SFK on the F2 Schwentine Line from 1 June.

“For SFK, the MS DÜSTERNBROOK marks the beginning of a new era for our fleet of ships,” states a delighted Managing Director Andreas Schulz. Not only for SFK: It is the first ship on the North German coast that no longer is equipped with a combustion engine. As with the construction of the first plug-in hybrid ferry MS GAARDEN, which was christened in July 2020, SFK has again relied on the established cooperation with Holland Shipyard.

“Despite the corona crisis, the contractual construction time at the shipyard in Hardinxveld-Giessendam was upheld and the ship arrived on schedule in its home port of Kiel at the end of 2020,” explains Andreas Schulz.

SFK intends to continue to rely on future-oriented electric mobility technology – a second ship of this type is already being discussed for the F2.

In his welcoming address, Lord Mayor Ulf Kämpfer was pleased that Kiel is taking another step towards climate neutrality with the MS DÜSTERNBROOK: “The MS DÜSTERNBROOK is an important building block in making the Port of Kiel more environmentally friendly. With the new ship, SFK is continuing the initial efforts to build ships with climate-friendly propulsion. Further steps will follow.”

“Water-based public transport will benefit from the newly built vessel. Up to 140 passengers will be able to board largely barrier-free and we will also be able to accommodate 60 bicycles that can be individually parked and retrieved,” says Andreas Schulz.  In future, passengers will be able to board the ship quickly and comfortably via two 1.60 m wide access ramps operated by the captain.

In contrast to the MS Schwentine, there is only one deck. The front section is for bicycles and the rear section is intended for passengers, who can buy their tickets on board at a vending machine. A barrier-free toilet is part of the ship’s facilities.

From a technical perspective, the 24.70 m long and 7.20 m wide ship meets all the requirements needed for a low-emission journey across the Kiel Fjord: With a storage capacity of 819 kilowatts per hour from the battery packs and photovoltaics (20 solar cells), the ship can be operated for around ten hours before it needs to be recharged. For this purpose, appropriate charging infrastructure has been installed at the Bahnhofsbrücke Kiel and Dietrichsdorf ferry piers. Further technical equipment includes two electric traction motors with 86 KW each and a 40 kW independent bow thruster.

The construction costs for the MS DÜSTERNBROOK amount to just under 3.0 million euros. The procurement of the ship was supported by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure with funding of around 400,000 euros as part of the Clean Air Immediate Action Programme 2017-2020.

Today’s launch patron is Wiebke Bonow from the Eigenbetrieb Beteiligungen der Landeshauptstadt Kiel (EBK). The public transport specialist has been committed to local transport in Kiel for many years. The SFK is a 100% shareholding of the EBK.

The new ship is scheduled to go into regular service on 1 June. At the same time, there will be new fares on the F2 Schwentine Line to make public transport on the water even more appealing. Adults will pay 1 euro per trip, children only 50 cents. The extension of the pilot project means that bicycles will continue to be transported free of charge.


Image source: Fabian Horst