Building work is now officially underway on the Isles of Scilly Steamship Group’s (ISSG) new passenger and freight vessels, with the first steel for the new ships being cut during a special ceremony at Piriou’s shipyard in Vietnam.



The event marks the start of the build and was attended by senior company executives from ISSG and Piriou. Work will progress rapidly over the coming months, with the keel-laying for both vessels due to take place in the autumn.

The ships will be built alongside each other, to ISSG’s detailed specifications, by Piriou’s expert teams of engineers and fabricators. The build will be overseen in Vietnam by ISSG project managers, Chris Lingham and Peter Broad, who have relocated to Vietnam for the duration of the build.

The steel cutting event was preceded with a meet-and-greet between ISSG representatives and Piriou’s workforce, alongside a presentation about the New Vessel Replacement project and its importance to the Isles of Scilly.



Stuart Reid, CEO of ISSG said: “This important milestone is a big step forward in our plans to bring new, purpose-built vessels to secure the future of the lifeline sea link between Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. Being in a position to commence the build-phase of the project has been a real team-effort, both from ISSG and also from our excellent project partners, Piriou. We have been planning this moment since we commenced our New Vessel Replacement programme in 2019, and being here to cut the first steel for the new ships is a very proud moment for the Company.”

“When these new ships enter service in 2026, they will greatly improve the resilience and reliability of our fleet, bringing in a host of environmental benefits and service improvements.”


Ian Howard, Chairman of ISSG said: “Today marks the culmination of a huge amount of work that has contributed to the successful start of a new chapter for the company and for the islands. Over the coming months, we’ll see two brand new ships being built before our eyes, that will secure the future of the lifeline link between Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. What this means for customers is a range of significant improvements, enabled by the latest technology, resulting in quicker and more comfortable journeys for passengers and a series of benefits for freight customers.”


During the detailed-design phase of the project, a significant amount of work has been carried out, to ensure the vessels can be built to the highest standards, meeting the unique demands of the route.

Piriou’s and Van Ossanen’s Naval Architects have been focussing on optimising the shape of the hull, which, combined with patented Hull Vane® technology, will provide a total efficiency gain of 17% at 16 knots, with corresponding reduction in fuel consumption and exhaust emissions. These modifications will also have a significant damping effect on the pitch and rolling motion of the vessel, providing increased passenger comfort.