Yorkshire Times
A Voice of the North
Phil Hopkins
Arts & Travel Editor
8:00 AM 23rd October 2020

New Cruiser For Windermere

Windermere Lake Cruises has taken delivery of a new 300-seat boat marking an 80 year first for the Lake District’s premier stretch of water.

The construction of the new vessel – MV ‘Swift’ - was completed this summer, followed by successful lake trials.

The vessel becomes the largest new craft to sail on England’s longest lake for more than 80 years and has been designed with accessibility and comfort in-mind, complete with heated windows, electric doors and windows, toilets, USB and electrical sockets.

Chairman of Windermere Lake Cruises, Bill Bewley said: “Designed to operate in all seasons, our fantastic new vessel, built by Damen Group, will enhance the quality of our visitors’ experience thanks to 21st century quality, comfort and accessibility.

“It is true that while completion of the vessel came at a time of significant economic uncertainty due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the designation of the Lake District National Park as a World Heritage Site means we are confident that the region's visitor economy has a bright long-term future and we believe that the MV Swift will have an important role to play in the area’s economic recovery.”

In the last month, the five Windermere Lake Cruises Masters who will skipper the MV ‘Swift’, have been receiving intensive training under a training package arranged through Damen Group. Due to the vessel having ‘state of the art’ propulsion and steering systems, training was delivered by a Captain with years of experience of these type of vessels.

Like Windermere Lake Cruises’ existing flagship ‘steamers’ MV ‘Swan’ and MV ‘Teal’, the new vessel boasts three decks, but is slightly shorter in length to enable her to access smaller jetties around Windermere to help support other businesses in the area.

Managing Director of Windermere Lake Cruises, Nigel Wilkinson, said:"This has been a very significant investment for our company, with the project taking a little over three years from conception to delivery. It is a credit to Damen Group that they have been able to deliver this vessel notwithstanding the fact that the fitout and completion of the vessel has had to take place during the Covid-19 pandemic we have faced since the start of the year.”

The vessel has been handed over by Damen Shipyards Gorinchem BV to Winander Leisure Limited following the completion of a thorough inspection and survey by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and the granting of the boat’s Passenger Certificate. The vessel will be crewed and operated by Windermere Lake Cruises Limited.

It is anticipated that the MV ‘Swift’ will start operating scheduled passenger this month.