Vessel Types : Car Carriers (2)

The vessel is constructed with two hydraulically-operated external stern ramps. One is a straight stern ramp, another one is a quarter stern ramp. Easch of them has a safe working load of 70 tons and a 6-metre long diveway. All vehicles ranging from passenger cars to heavy movable machinery can be loaded and discharged through these two ramps.

For PCTC carriers, a stern quarter ramp offers considerable advantages for cargo access and handling. Its main benefit is that it allowa the vessel to berth in the normal manner, that is alongside the quay, without the need for special shore facilities. The motor vehicles carried by the "Elbe Highway", and later on by her three sisters, can be handled at any port in the world, not only at Ro-Ro terminals with trailer quays.

The carrier is built with eight cargo decks in total. Two of them are liftable car decks. They enhancegreatly the operational flexibility of the vessel. Unlike hoistable car decks, they have no integral lifting mechanism, but are deployed by a mobile deck lift. Thus, the maintenance requirements of each of the panels forming the movable deck are limited. The arrangement of internal ramps are fixed car decks follows the main design concept to shorten the time in port. Namely, deck supporting pillars have been designed off the ship centre line, making the construction not symmetrical, but allowing for better cargo access.

The "Elbe Highway" has been classified by DNV as ICE-1A as the hull is strengthened in her underwater and bow sections. The navigating bridge is fully glass-shielded to improve the navigation visibility on icy waters.

The prototype carrier has already joined the growing fleet of high-quality car carriers of high manoeuvrability and efficiency that are operating on short routes in the Baltic and North Sea regions.

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