The fastest ship in the world is HSC Francisco, is the hydrofoil ferry known as the “World’s Fastest Ferry.” It operates between the ports of Tarifa, Spain, and Tangier, Morocco. This high-speed vessel, named “HSC Francisco” or “Leonardo da Vinci,” is capable of reaching speeds of up to 58 knots (around 67 miles per hour or 108 kilometers per hour).
It utilizes hydrofoil technology, which lifts the hull of the ship above the water, reducing drag and allowing for faster speeds. It is important to note that ship technology and speed records may have advanced since my knowledge cutoff, so there could be newer and faster ships in operation.
About HSC Francisco
The fastest ship in the world is HSC Francisco. This High-Speed Catamaran was constructed in Tasmania, Australia, by Incat Shipyard and named after Roman Pontiff Pope Francis. The ship was officially released in 2013, moving at about 58.2 knots (108.1 km/h). Its passenger capacity is over 950 and can carry over 120 cars.
HSC Francisco: The World’s Fastest Ship
If you are looking for a fast and comfortable way to travel between Argentina and Uruguay, you might want to consider taking the HSC Francisco, the world’s fastest ferry. This jet-powered catamaran can reach a top speed of 58.1 knots (67 mph or 107 km/h), making it faster than any other passenger ship in service.
The HSC Francisco was built in 2013 by Incat, an Australian shipyard based in Hobart, Tasmania. It was named after Pope Francis, the first Argentine Pope, and is owned and operated by Buquebus, an Argentine-Uruguayan ferry company. The ship measures 99 meters (325 feet) long and 26.48 meters (86.9 feet) wide, and has a gross tonnage of 7,109. It can carry 1,024 passengers and 150 cars on each crossing.
The secret behind the HSC Francisco’s speed is its propulsion system. The ship is powered by two GE LM2500 gas turbine jet engines, which can run on liquefied natural gas (LNG). Each engine develops 59,000 horsepower (43,394 kW), which drives a pair of Wärtsilä LJX 1720 SR waterjets. These waterjets propel the ship forward by ejecting a high-pressure stream of water behind it.
The HSC Francisco operates the 140-mile (225-km) route across the Rio de la Plata estuary between Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Montevideo, Uruguay. The journey takes about two hours and 15 minutes, compared to three hours by conventional ferry or six hours by bus. The ship also offers amenities such as Wi-Fi, TV screens, a cafeteria, and a duty-free shop.
The HSC Francisco is not only fast but also environmentally friendly. By using LNG as fuel, the ship reduces its emissions of carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, and particulate matter. LNG also has a lower cost than diesel or heavy fuel oil, making it more economical to operate.
The HSC Francisco is a remarkable example of how technology and innovation can improve maritime transportation. It is a ship that combines speed, comfort, efficiency, and sustainability in one package.
How Fast is the Fastest Ship in the World?
The fastest ship in the world, HSC Francisco moves at a speed of 58.2 knots (or 58.2 Nautical miles per hour), an equivalent of about 58 mph or 108.1 km/h. The speed is higher than any passenger ship, whose speed ranges between 20 and 30 knots.
Although the maximum speed is extremely high and is a record, performing daily voyages on her route, the maximum speed is much lower. It is very rare when the ferry goes at a speed of more than 45 knots, that is about 52 mph or 83.3 km/h. We wrote about how to convert and how fast is a knot in this article.
Some features which make HSC Francisco the fastest ship include:
- Two gas turbines propelled by GE energy were designed for marine distillate and liquid natural gas.
- Advanced GE LM2500 water jets capable of controlling high propulsion
- Two tanks for storing the liquid natural gas are enough to supply the ship with energy.
- Four fuel tanks, two on each hull, for a constant supply of energy
- Its engine is fitted with water jets and gas turbines which rotate forward and backward increasing efficiency
The Fastest Naval Ship in the World
The fastest naval ship in the world is the American Zumwalt class destroyer. Zumwalt class destroyer comprises three ships made to destroy missiles. These three ships were built to work concurrently. When one is in the waters, another one is under maintenance while the third one is on the lookout.
Zumwalt class destroyer is operated by an electric system, with over 7000-hertz power and about 5000 turbine generators. This one comes with two propellers that are driven by electric motors and moves the ship at speeds above 42 knots.
Initially, Zumwalt was designed to move at a speed of 80 knots, but the cost of maintaining the high speed was too costly.
What Factors Affect the Speed of a Ship?
Different types of ships move at different speeds depending on their structure, size, and the cargo they transport. Cruise ships have the highest speed of about 24 knots, while bulk carrier ships have the lowest speed among the fleets of about 12 knots.
Factors affecting the speed of a ship include:
- Magnitude & direction of the wind. Wind can propel a ship to move at high speed if the direction of the wind is in line with the moving ship. If the direction of the wind counters that of the moving ship, the ship’s speed decreases.
- Structure of the ship. Some ships have only one propeller while others have more. Those with more propellers move at a higher speed.
- Location of the ship. Ships far away from the shore cruise at higher speeds than those near the shore. As a ship approaches the coast, captains lower the speed to curb emissions from going to the land. Also, the ship’s speeds decelerate when crossing canals for safety.
- Prevailing weather conditions in the sea. Calm weather favors cruising, while turbulent weather obstructs the movement of a ship.
- Draft. The design and size determine the amount of cargo to be loaded onto the ship. A ship with more cargo moves slowly while one with less cargo moves faster.
Do Different Ships Move at the Same Speed?
Different ships can move at different speeds depending on the cargo they carry and their size. Generally, passenger ships move faster than cargo ships. Passenger vessels have to keep to a schedule and are mainly chosen for routes with additional possibilities to sustain bad weather conditions. On the other hand, cargo vessels are utilized to ship cargo at the most economically effective speed and cost.
Here is a table summarizing the common types of sheep and their average speeds.
|Type of sheep
|Containers with the dry, refrigerated, project, and general cargoes
|Crude oils, petrol products, chemicals, and liquified gases
|Bulk cargo ships
|Grains, ores, coal, and similar cargoes in bulk, and project or heavy goods such as heavy machinery
|Roll-on/ Roll-off ships (Ro-Ro)
|Equipment with wheels such as cars, trucks, tractors, and trailers
|Passenger / Cruise ships
|Passengers, cars, light cargo, and pets.
The largest ships in the world are oil and gas tankers, dry cargo bulkers, and floating liquefied natural gas platforms (FLNG) are also among the slowest in the world’s fleet.
How Do You Ensure Personal Safety While Cruising on High-Speed Ships?
While cruising on high-speed ships, it is important to ensure safety not only for you and your family or colleagues but also for your cargo. People travel by water for different reasons. Some of the reasons include:
- Vacating and breaking away from daily routines individually.
- Lack of alternative means of transport
- Traveling with heavy cargo that needs a lot of space
- View natural phenomena such as the northern lights
Whatever the reason for cruising, the weather is unpredictable. To ensure safety while on a cruise, consider the following safety measures:
- Ensure you have safety equipment such as headgear, shoes, floaters, and gloves
- Avoid any ignition which may cause open fire, especially near flammable goods.
- Carry a first aid kit for dressing minor injuries while cruising.
- Stay away from heavy luggage, especially directly above you, to avoid getting injured if they topple.
- Before using a ladder, ensure it is in good condition and can support your weight.
- Stay away when dangerous cargo like petrol and other flammable goods or poisonous substances are loaded and offloaded.
- Avoid walking on bulk containers and follow instructions from the crew
- Always wear a mask and gloves before touching surfaces to minimize exposure to harmful substances.
- Avoid using electronic gadgets, especially in an area with a poor network connection.
At this point, you have learned important information regarding the fastest ship, history, and other ships that cruise at high speeds.
Of course, ships play a crucial role in the transport sector. Most imports and exports are ferried by ships, and technological advancement in the shipping industry is necessary. Also, ships offer the best ways to go vacating and detach from your daily routine. Different scenes we view from cruises are rarely visible from other means of transport.