Trasmediterranea's new fast ferry for the Palma to Barcelona service is getting a step nearer the Balearics. Yesterday it crossed the Suez Canal and the captain of the Milenium said yesterday that the crew is enjoying the trip, which started in Tasmania, where the catamaran was built. On board are 15 Spanish merchant sailors as well as five Australian mechanics from the shipyard where she was built. The 96-metre vessel set sail from Hobart on March 6 and has called into port in Freemantle, Victoria and the Seychelles - and now Cairo. The vessel, with a maximum speed of 40 knots, will have a capacity for 900 passengers and 250 vehicles and will cover the Palma to Barcelona crossing in three hours - cutting the traditional voyage by ferry in half.

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