HSC Normandie Express
ex The Lynx, Incat Tasmania
Portsmouth 05/06/17 © Ray Goodfellow
Aluminium ‘Evolution 10B’ catamaran built in 2000 by Incat (International Catamarans) Australia Pty. Ltd., Hobart, Australia (Yard No. 057) as a car and passenger ferry
- Length: 97.22m (overall)
- Breadth: 26.60m
- Draught: 3.438m
- Tonnage: 6,581 gross/2,514 net/750 deadweight
- Engines: Four 20-cyl, Ruston 20RK270 diesels.
- Power: 28,320 kW.
- Speed: 37.0 knots (44.0 knots max)
- Capacity: 900 passengers, 260 cars
- Call Sign: ZMIL, FMIH
- IMO Number: 9221358
- MMSI Number: 228237700
- Registry: Spain, New Zealand, Bahamas, France.
- Sister ships: Incat 058, The Cat, Incat 060, Incat 062.
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July 29th 2000: Launched.
August 2nd 2000: Sea trials.
August 2000: Delivered to Incat Chartering Pty. Ltd., Hobart, Australia.
August 3rd 2000: Transported the Olympic torch around the Tasmanian coast.
Courtesy of Incat © António Cardoso
September 9th 2000: Chartered to Australian Trade Commission and laid up in Sydney as a floating conference during the Olympic Games.
October 6th 2000: Left Sydney for Hobart (via Victoria) for completion.
November 2000: Chartered to Tranz Rail, Wellington, New Zealand and renamed THE LYNX.
© Glenn Towler (left) Courtesy of Incat (right)
November 25th 2000: Left Hobart for Wellington.
December 10th 2000 – July 2003: Services between Wellington – Picton.
July 14th 2003: Left Wellington for Hobart.
July 16th 2003: Laid up in Hobart.
December 2004: Chartered to Brittany Ferries, France for delivery in 2005.
January 2005: Renamed NORMANDIE EXPRESS.
© Glenn Towler
January 19th 2005: Arrived Hobart for loading of supplies for tsunami disaster victims in Indonesia and also on board the vessel, for delivery to France, was the yacht SILL ET VOILIA which in December 2004 was forced to retire into Hobart from the Vendee Globe solo round-the-world race.
© Mike Triplett
January 21st 2005: Left Hobart for Europe.
February 2005: Arrived Roscoff.
March 15th 2005: Commenced services between Ouistreham – Portsmouth/ Cherbourg – Portsmouth.
© Ray Goodfellow
November 2005 – March 2006: Refit in Dunkerque and the laid up.
© Andreas Wörteler
March 30th 2006 – October 29th 2006: Services between Ouistreham/ Cherbourg – Portsmouth.
Portsmouth 16/04/06 © Ray Goodfellow
March 5th 2007: Sold to Bretagne Angleterre Irlande SA (BAI), Caen, France (management Brittany Ferries).
© Robert Fournier
February 21st 2008 – March 4th 2008: Services between Plymouth – Roscoff.
© Andreas Wörteler
May 4th 2013: Berthing trials in Le Havre.
Cherbourg 10/05/2013 © Andreas Wörteler (left) and Cherbourg May 2013 © Ray Goodfellow (right)
Departing Portsmouth 17/07/13 © Ray Goodfellow
May 19th 2013 – September 8th 2013: Services between Le Havre – Portsmouth.
Undergoing refit in Cherbourg 30/11/13 © Dan Hall
17th April 2014 – September 9th 2014: Service between Portsmouth and Cherbourg. Additionally, from 22nd May until 7th September the craft offered weekend sailings to Le Havre.
October 29th 2014: In anticipation of covering for the Barfleur on the Poole-Cherbourg service she conducted berthing trials at Poole. Returned to Cherbourg the same day.
Poole 29/10/14 © Dan Hall
November 2nd 2014: Chartered to act as a spectator vessel for the start of the ‘Route du Rhum‘ yacht race at St Malo.
Route du Rhum, St Malo 02/11/14 © Nicolas Levy
November 4th 2014: Departed Cherbourg for Le Havre and Winter lay up.
Laid up in Le Havre with the Bretagne © Nicolas Lévy
March 2015: Currently docked in the Darse De L’Océan in Le Havre. Anticipated return to service on the 29/04/15. She will initially cover the Cherbourg-Poole service of the Barfleur until the 14/5/15 before resuming service between Le Havre/Cherbourg and Portsmouth on the 15/5/15.
April 21st 2015: Departed Winter lay up in Le Havre and headed to Cherbourg to be prepared for service.
April 29th 2015: Resumed service from Poole/Portsmouth to Le Havre/Cherbourg.
Departing Poole on the 29/04/15 © Dan Hall
September 8th 2015: Final sailing 2015 season, Portsmouth -Cherbourg.
September 20th 2015: Sailed from Cherbourg to Dunkerque, for refit/maintenance.
September 20th 2015: Arrived in Dunkerque.
© Julien Carpentier
At Damen Dunkerque © Ray Goodfellow
October 9th 2015: Arrived in Le Havre for Winter lay up. She is due to resume services between Portsmouth and Cherbourg on the 27/04/16.
April 18th 2016: Departed from Winter lay up in Le Havre bound for Cherbourg to be prepared for service.
April 26th 2016: Departed Cherbourg for Portsmouth in anticipation of reopening the Summer only Portsmouth-Cherbourg service the following day.
April 27th 2016: Reopened the Portsmouth-Cherbourg service.
September 13th 2016: Completed her last crossing between Cherbourg and Portsmouth of the 2016 Summer Season.
© Paul Cloke
September 26th 2016: Departed Cherbourg for Winter lay up at the Darse de l’Océan in Le Havre. She will return to service on 20/04/17.
April 10th 2017: Departed Le Havre for Cherbourg to be readied for service.
April 19th 2017: Arrived in Portsmouth to be readied for her first crossing of the 2017 Summer season.
April 20th 2017: Resumed service between Portsmouth and Cherbourg.
Departing Portsmouth 05/06/17 © Ray Goodfellow
June 7th-8th 2017: Sailings cancelled due to a technical issue.
September 11th 2017: Sailings cancelled due to adverse weather.
September 12th 2017: Departed Portsmouth for Cherbourg closing the 2017 season. Upon arrival in Cherbourg the vessel was destocked and proceeded to the syncrolift in where she will underwent an overhaul of her engines and waterjets.
October 20th 2017: Departed Cherbourg for Winter lay up in Le Havre. Due to depart Le Havre for Cherbourg on the 23/04/18 to be readied for service before resuming service from Cherbourg to Portsmouth on the 03/05/18.
All information is believed to be correct and no responsibility is accepted for any errors or omissions. All items included in this article are subject to © copyright. We would like to take this opportunity of thanking: Julien Carpentier, Dan Hall, Robert Fournier, Paul Cloke, Nicolas Levy, Glenn Towler, Mike Triplett and Andreas Wörteler for their assistance in producing this feature. A special thanks goes to Brittany Ferries and International Catamarans PTY (Incat).