Ferries and Passenger Ships

Ferries and Passenger Ships

When ferries transport passengers and cargo, it's safety first

Passenger and cargo safety during the crossing is the absolute priority. Nonetheless, passengers with and without cars want to cross the barrier quickly.

This is where the Voith Schneider Propeller comes in. All over the world ever increasing traffic on the water leads to ever increasing requirements. In addition, the vessels need to safely cope with currents, crosswinds and tidal changes in various water depths. Requirements that the propulsion and steering system of a modern ferry must cope with fast, precisely and safely.


Voith Schneider Propeller driven ferries:

  • reduce the docking and undocking times thanks to its precise steerability. For you, this could translate into more trips per day
  • provide a high degree of safety for your passengers and cargo, even in heavy shipping traffic. A perfect example being the Turkish Bosporus, one of the world's busiest shipping routes, where ferries equipped with VSPs are in use for many years now
  • are environmentally-friendly due to our modern Voith technology: VSPs operate with low noise emissions, minimal fuel consumption and therefore minimum exhaust emissions
  • requires little maintenance due to its low speed operation and robust design

Double-Ended Ferries

    Rush hour frenzy: In the morning, people rush to work, in the evening they hurry home. If water must be crossed, ferries are often used as floating bridges. Where time is of the essence, double-ended ferries are at an advantage. They have neither bow nor stern. Instead, the vessel ends are symmetrical. Only the captain must turn through 180 degrees in his control stand if he is to return from B to A after just having come from A to B. A system with a clear advantage.

    The ferries do not have to turn in port; cars can leave the deck in the same direction as they drove on. An obvious way to save time on the entire maneuver.

    Voith Schneider Propellers (VSP) are ideally suited for double-ended ferries as they can be arranged to suit the specific vessel requirements.

    In 1937, the first double-ended ferry equipped with VSPs was put into service. The "Lymington" successfully operated in Great Britain for 60 years.

    The options are:

    1. Two VSPs along the longitudinal axis of the vessel; this is the standard solution.
    2. Four VSPs if a high power output is required and/or limitations as to the draft apply.
    3. Three VSPs if there is one main direction of travel.
    4. Two VSPs in a diagonal arrangement; this is the solution for smaller ferries.

    Double-Ended Ferries with Two Propellers

    Two propellers are the standard choice for double-ended ferries. If the vessel is big enough, one propeller is installed midships at each end of the vessel. In cases where the vessel dimensions are subject to restrictions or where the waterway conditions are unfavorable, the propellers can also be installed diagonally at the vessel ends. This arrangement is used on smaller, short ferries only.

    Double-Ended Ferries with Three Propellers

    Double-ended ferries which cover longer distances with difficult waterway or port conditions are built with one main sailing direction. The vessel ends therefore are not symmetrical. Such ferries are equipped with two propellers at the stern and one at the bow. From a hydrodynamic point of view, these vessels are optimized with regard to resistance.

    Double-Ended Ferries with Four Propellers

    Double-ended ferries which require a high output power or are used in shallow waters are equipped with four propellers. The advantages being a lower draft as well as full maneuverability even in the event of a propeller failing. Requirements for optimum propulsion system redundancy are also fulfilled.

    At present, more than 420 VSP-driven double-ended ferries world-wide transport passengers and cars across the water. These include the world's biggest and most powerful ferries.

    iVSP: Controlling a virtual Voith Schneider Propeller

      With the help of the iVSP (Interactive Voith Schneider Propeller) program you can experience for yourself how a Voith Schneider Propeller (VSP) actually works.

      iVSP 2.1

      We’ve completely redesigned the iVSP app and added features that make the Voith Schneider Propeller even more realistic in 3D. In Version 2.1, the standard ship is a double-ended ferry, which you control with virtual joysticks. The double-ended ferry has four propellers. You control the two fore propellers with the left joystick and the two aft propellers with the right joystick. In addition, Version 2.1 offers a completely new training mode. A typical docking procedure is simulated by positioning the ship in a marked field within a specified time.

      Download the latest version of the iVSP application and discover new features!



        • Tailor-made propulsion solutions for double-ended ferries. 
Voith Schneider Propeller

          Tailor-made propulsion solutions for double-ended ferries. Voith Schneider Propeller


        High Efficiency at all speeds