About the Ships

The iconic red-and-white ships we know today as Spirit of Tasmania I and II were constructed in Finland in 1998 and operated for four years between Greece and Italy. These two monohull vessels replaced the original MV Spirit of Tasmania, making their dual maiden voyages across Bass Strait on 1 September, 2002.

Quick facts

Spirit of Tasmania I and II were built in 1998 by Kvaerner Masa-Yards in Turku, Finland. The ships weigh a staggering 28,000 tonnes and measure in at 194.3 metres. To put things into perspective, that’s 20 metres longer than the inside of the MCG!

Approximate sailings per year
Passengers can be carried on each ship
Vehicles can be accommodated

Our history

Let’s journey back to where it all began… 1985, a year of big hair, ripped jeans and neon clothing. Bob Hawke was PM. Melbourne celebrated its 150th year. Neighbours debuted on network television… And TT-Line, the operator of Spirit of Tasmania, was born.

Abel Tasman

On 1 July 1985, TT-Line began operating passenger and vehicle transport across Bass Strait on the German-built Abel Tasman. This ship maintained regular and reliable service until 1993, when she was replaced by the much larger “original” Spirit of Tasmania.

Devil on the high seas

In 1997, things kicked up a notch with the introduction of the Devil Cat, a Tasmanian-built catamaran that took just six hours to travel from George Town in Tasmania’s north to Station Pier in Port Melbourne. The vessel operated during the peak season in conjunction with the original Spirit of Tasmania until 2002.

European adoption

In March 2002, TT-Line purchased two vessels from Superfast Ferries, a Greece-based operator servicing the Adriatic Sea. The ships, built in Turku, Finland, sailed between Italy and Greece as Superfast III & IV. In May, they travelled to the Neorion ship yard on the island of Syros for painting and general overhaul and were renamed Spirit of Tasmania I & II.

Sea change

The ships then made the mighty journey to Hobart, where they were refitted for their new service between Devonport and Melbourne, replacing the original Spirit of Tasmania. On 1 September, 2002 they set sail on their dual maiden voyages across Bass Strait.

Sailing into Sydney

In 2004, two years after Spirit I and Spirit II began servicing the Strait, a third vessel was introduced to the fleet, operating between Sydney and Tasmania. Spirit of Tasmania III sailed between Darling Harbour and Devonport overnight. While popular with passengers at the time, the route was discontinued in 2006.

A new Spirit

In 2015, the vessels underwent a major refurbishment, sporting fresh, modern interiors and stylish new facilities. And while the ships today may look vastly different from those of yesteryear, the brilliant sunsets and stunning vistas of the Strait just cannot be replaced.
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Spirit of Tasmania IV & V: From 2024

In 2021, TT-Line engaged Finnish shipbuilder Rauma Marine Constructions (RMC) to build two new purpose-built vessels, Spirit of Tasmania IV and V, to replace its current fleet. The ships will be delivered in 2024.
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