After having set sail from its shipyard in China in early November, Atlantic Star, the first of five new vessels in ACL’s G4 fleet joined ACL’s transatlantic service in December, and sailed into Halifax Harbour on January 6. From Halifax, Atlantic Star will sail to the ports of New York and New Jersey, Norfolk and Baltimore.

The massive ship, about the size of three football fields, is 296 metres long and 37.6 metres wide. She was designed to sail between northern European ports and the east coast of Canada and the United States, has the ability to carry both container and roll-on, roll-off cargo, and is the largest of its kind, but operates with a crew of only 16. The remaining four G4 vessels will be delivered during the first half of 2016. Designed by Danish naval architecture firm Knud E. Hansen AS, construction of Atlantic Star took place at Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding in China.

Atlantic Star is a first of its kind vessel and the largest RORO/Containership (CONRO) ever built. It incorporates an innovative design that increases capacity without significantly changing the dimensions of the vessel. G4 vessels are bigger, greener and more efficient than their predecessors with container capacity more than doubled at 3800 TEUs, plus 28,900 square meters of RORO space and a car capacity of 1300+ vehicles. The RORO ramps are wider and shallower and the RORO decks are higher (up to 7.4 meters) with fewer columns, enabling much easier loading and discharge of oversized cargo. Emissions per TEU are reduced by 65 per cent. The fleet continues to employ cell guides on deck, a feature that will allow ACL to extend its enviable record: ACL ships have never lost a container over the side during the last 30 years.

Demonstrating that ACL’s parent company, Grimaldi Group, continues to invest for the long term in ACL’s future, Atlantic Star and its sister G4 vessels will dramatically improve ACL’s competitiveness on the North Atlantic. ACL has been successful during its 48 year history by doing things differently from its competitors.

The ships in the new G4 Fleet are being named Atlantic Star, Atlantic Sail, Atlantic Sea, Atlantic Sky and Atlantic Sun. The winning names were submitted by Andrea Cox, who is a Customer Service Representative at ACL’s Halifax Customer Service Center.

ACL’s current schedule and port rotation will be maintained until all five G4 vessels are in service. ACL will announce its new G4 schedule during the second quarter of 2016.