Windermere Lake Cruises new vessel launched in Damen Technical Cooperation project

MV Swift was launched onto the waters of  Windermere in the Lake District National Park in the north west of England. Damen Shipyards Group is building the vessel on location via the Damen Technical Cooperation (DTC) for Windermere Lake Cruises.

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The latest addition to Windermere Lake Cruises’ fleet, at 34 metres, is slightly shorter than the company’s existing flagships, MV Swan and MV Teal. This will enable the vessel to dock at smaller jetties in the area, thereby providing economic stimulus to a wider pool of local businesses.

With DTC, Damen is experienced in building vessels on location – even inland on projects like this one. For over 40 years, Damen has been supporting shipbuilding projects all over the world with DTC. DTC customers can choose the level of support they need – be it a vessel design, or a materials package, or a combination of design, materials, shipbuilding advice, assistance and training.

Damen sales manager Mike Besijn said, “The DTC concept makes it possible to be a Damen customer wherever you are in the world. This is the first time in Damen’s history that we have built a vessel in the UK and we are incredibly proud to have this opportunity. This is a great example of how British and Dutch companies can work together. Working with Windermere Lake Cruises has been, and continues to be, a joy.”

John Woodburn, Windermere Lake Cruises’ operations director, said, “It was two and a half years ago when we decided to invest in a new vessel, so today is a real milestone for Windermere Lake Cruises. It was also brilliant to see so many people come to watch at our Lakeside pier, from members of the public to TV, radio and newspaper crews. We’re now looking forward to working on MV Swift’s interior, with further extensive work planned before the vessel goes into service in mid-2020. Damen has done a fantastic job on this vessel and it’s been a great experience to work with them on this project, at their shipyard and here at Lakeside in recent months.

“Today was a real heart-in-mouth moment as the plan we’ve been working towards all came together at last. I’m delighted to say the launch went without a hitch and it’s tremendously satisfying to see MV Swift gracefully floating on Windermere’s surface. I’m sure I speak for the whole team when I say we can’t wait to welcome passengers onboard in the summer.”

Windermere Lake Cruises operates a fleet of sixteen vessels currently. Throughout the year, these vessels take more than 1.6 million passengers on tours, day trips and evening functions on England’s largest natural lake. Windermere Lake Cruises is one of the UK’s most popular attractions.