With bright pink as her signature theme colour, the new Japanese ferry Silver Princess made a punctual debut serving the northern island of Hokkaido on 8 April. Constructed by Mitsubishi at Shimonoseki for owners Kawasaki Kinkai Kisen, Silver Princess is purpose-built for the seven-hour “SeaRoad” crossing between Hachinohe and Tomakomai. The 150m vessel is capable of carrying 500 passengers and has a service speed of 20.5 knots. She joins a fleet of four car ferries serving the busy route, making one round-trip daily.
Meanwhile, 2012 sees the 10th anniversary of a jetfoil service from Tokyo served by two former English Channel ships. Tokai Kisen introduced the high-speed service in 2002 and owns three Boeing Jetfoils, including two originally commissioned in 1981 for RMT of Belgium as Prinses Stefanie and Princesse Clementine.