"Esperanza" is a new ferry that comes to strengthen Navimag's transportation role in Chilean Patagonia. This vessel will transport locals, cargo, and travelers between Puerto Montt and Puerto Natales safely, with greater comfort, and state-of-the-art technology, starting in the 2021-2022 season. For more than 40 years, Navimag Ferries has been the primary means of territorial integration in the Aysén and Magallanes regions with the rest of the country. And we are reinforcing our commitment to the development of the Chilean extreme south by incorporating a new ferry, named Esperanza, into our fleet.
This vessel was designed in Canada and built-in Asia in 2019, under the latest standards and specifications for the transportation of passengers and cargo to sail the Patagonian fjords route.
How is Esperanza ferry different from our other ferries?
1. Larger cargo capacity
With an investment of US$30 million, Esperanza replaces our Evangelista ferry with significant improvements in passenger capacity (now 244) and cargo transport (5,000 tons, which implies 1,800 linear meters of wheeled vehicles.
In practice, this means better opportunities to supply and transport goods and provisions between Puerto Montt and Puerto Natales. It "equals approximately 55 more trucks that we will be able to move per week in both directions of the route", Francisco Garay, commercial director of Navimag, told daily Prensa Austral.
In addition, the new Esperanza can reach a cruising speed of 13 knots, taking approximately 63-hour to travel between Puerto Montt and Puerto Natales in favorable weather.
2. New safety regulations
All Navimag ferries meet International Safety Management (ISM) and SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) safety standards. In addition, the new ferry Esperanza also complies with a new Safe Return to Port regulation, which guarantees that the vessel remains operational in the event of an accident to sail to the nearest safe port by its power. It is a remarkable improvement for locals and travelers planning to travel in Chilean Patagonia by ferry.
For this, Esperanza has:
- Secondary command booth.
- Safety room for all passengers on board.
- Watertight engine rooms independent of each other.
- 3 rescue boats, rafts and life rafts for 730 people (doubling maximum capacity).
3. Modern facilities for travelers
Esperanza preserves the slow travel style that characterizes the Patagonian Fjords Route. It also has similar facilities that are currently found in Evangelista, such as a cafeteria, dining room, infirmary, private and shared cabins. However, it provides additional spaces and activities designed exclusively for the comfort and entertainment of travelers:
- Premium Suite cabin, with 1 double bed, a window, and a private bathroom.
- A cabin adapted for passengers with reduced mobility, with 2 beds, one private bathroom, window.
- An elevator that connects to the 3 external decks, is fully suitable for passengers to tour the ferry and enjoy panoramic views of the Patagonian fjords.
- An activity room with an entertainment system that connects to any tablet, or mobile phone. In the Summer, passengers can attend educational talks on board about the surrounding flora and fauna.
Why is our new ferry relevant to Patagonia?
The arrival of Esperanza to Chilean Patagonia has many positive implications. Residents will have a better and safer transportation alternative. Travelers will enjoy a different side to Patagonia, surrounded by comfortable amenities. Businesses will have a better choice of transportation for their cargo between Puerto Montt and Puerto Natales.
Therefore, Esperanza comes to reinforce Navimag's mission to continue adding value to communities in Chilean Patagonia.