FerriesP&O FerriesPast and Present

GTS (7) Flying Princess – Past and Present

IMO Number: 7932898

GTS Urzela

ex Princesa Voladora, Flying Princess

P & O Ferries

P&O Ferries

Aluminium 929-100 series Jetfoil high speed passenger ferry built in 1976 by Boeing Jetfoil Industries, Seattle, Washington, U.S.A. (Yard No 007)

Technical Data

  • Length: 30.10m (overall)
  • Breadth: 8.5344m
  • Depth: 2.60m
  • Draught: 1.505m/5.30m
  • Tonnage: 332 gross/248 net
  • Engines: Two General Motors – Allison gas turbines
  • Power: 5,443 kW
  • Speed: 43 knots (service), 50 knots (maximum)
  • Capacity: 250-300 passengers
  • Call Sign: VRMN (Urzela)
  • IMO Number: 7932898
  • MMSI Number: 477034000
  • Registry: Seattle/USA 🇺🇸, Hong Kong 🇭🇰
  • Sisters: GTS 929 – 110’s 1/2/3/5/6/8/9/

Link to more Boeing Jetfoils: Here


The 929 series Jetfoil high speed passenger ferry was initially designed and constructed by the marine division of the Boeing Company of Seattle, Washington. Latterly the licence to develop and build the type was passed to Kawasaki Heavy Industries of Japan. The craft was a direct descendant of a research and development programme carried out by the United States Navy during the 1960’s to examine the technical feasibility of a vessel which could deliver the fire-power and operating capabilities of a destroyer but at speeds in excess of 50 knots. In 1978 the 929 -100 was developed into the 929 – 115 model.

May 9th 1975: Keel laid.

September 1st 1976: Delivered to Boeing Marine Systems, Seattle, USA.

September – November 1976: Leased by the non-profit Flying Princess Transportation Corp., with the close co-operation and assistance of the B.C. Steamship Company to operate a test service between Seattle – Victoria.

March 11th 1977: Arrived as deck cargo in Copenhagen.

March 14th 1977: Extended north-west Europe and British Isles promotional tour (including Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Norway, Scotland, England, France and Belgium).

May 2nd 1977: Taken to Ostend for final preparations and route proving. 

© Urbain Ureel © Urbain Ureel © Urbain Ureel

© Urbain Ureel

June 1st 1977-1978: Chartered to P&O Ferries. Operated on services across the English Channel (St Katherine’s Pier, London – Zeebrugge).

© Andy Skarstein © Andy Skarstein

© Andy Skarstein (Tilbury, 02/05/1978)

P & O Ferries

P&O Ferries

© Tony Garner

© Tony Garner
© Derek Longly
© Derek Longly (Left)

September 25th 1978: Service suspended.

1979: Leased to Jet Link, for services between Brighton – Dieppe.

January 1st 1980: To Trasmediterranea for services between Las Palmas, Gran Canaria and Santa Cruz. Renamed PRINCESA VOLADORA.

Internet Source Internet Source

Internet Sources

July 27th 1980: Trial trip between Las Palmas and Tenerife.

August 7th 1983: Inaugural service between Las Palmas – Tenerife.

April 14th 1981: Replaced by the PRINCESS GUAYARMINA (GTS 18).

January 1st 1981: Registered to STF Urzela Ltd. (Mgrs. Shun Tak Ship Management Ltd.), Hong Kong. Renamed URZELA.

2000: Registered owner Sinocross International, Hong Kong.

October 23rd 2002: Badly damaged and 33 people injured, five of them seriously as the vessel came to a sudden landing approximately ten minutes before arriving in Macau. An investigation showed the cause was a failure of the king post in the strut of the bow T-foil, due to metal fatigue.

© SoHome Jacaranda Lilau

© SoHome Jacaranda

December 29th 2012: Struck a marker Buoy shortly after departing Macau bound for Hong Kong.

“Departed Macau berth No.6 with 177 passengers and 8 crew members onboard and bound for Hong Kong. It was raining with light breeze. The visibility was originally about 4 nautical miles (nm) but deteriorated rapidly to about 0.5nm. It was the vessel’s fourth voyage of the day. Everything was normal for the last three voyages. 1.2 After passing underneath the Macau Friendship Bridge, at 1225, the vessel’s speed was increased to about 35 knots. Before the vessel sailing to pass through the fairway between the No.5 and No.6 buoys in the Macau channel as originally planned, the rain patch appeared in the vicinity and affected the visibility seriously. The chief officer, who was at the wheel, lost the sight of the No.6 buoy for a short while. When the chief officer sighted a buoy ahead again, he assumed it was the No. 6 buoy and steered a course to pass the buoy on the starboard side of the vessel. 1.3 Shortly afterwards, Macau Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) alerted Urzela to pay attention to the course. The chief officer realized that the assumed No.6 Buoy was in fact the No.5 Buoy on the starboard bow and the vessel was actually proceeding towards the outer limit of the Macau Channel. He instinctively put the helm to starboard intending to bring the vessel back to the track but the action caused the vessel striking onto the No.5 Buoy at 1227. 1.4 As a result, the bulbous bow of the vessel and the forward strut and foil were damaged. 27 passengers and 4 crew members were injured. The vessel was towed back to the No.1 berth of Macau terminal. The injured persons were sent to the hospital.”

February 22nd 2018: Still in service Hong Kong – Macau.

April 5th 2021: Noted as being sold for scrap

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, Tony Garner, SoHome Jacaranda, Nicolas Levy, Derek Longly, Andy Skarstein and Urbain Ureel for their assistance in producing this feature. 

Article © Nigel Thornton and Ray Goodfellow (Dover Ferry Photos Group)

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