Kinai Maru, Sunflower (1st Generation) Selected for 4th 'Ship Heritage Certificate'
October 15, 2020
- Recognizing a pioneer in logistics that ushered in the era of the high-speed diesel cargo ship; Luxurious, high-speed, large-scale car ferry that set the pace in Japanese cruising -
TOKYO-Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL; President & CEO: Junichiro Ikeda) today announced that the MOL-owned Kinai Maru (Note 1), and Sunflower(1st generation) (Note 2) (trademark owned by MOL Ferry Co., Ltd.), have earned "Ship Heritage" certification from the Japan Society of Naval Architects. This is the second time for MOL to receive this honor, following the selection of the engine control console installed on the bridge of the Kinkasan Maru in 2017. (Note 3)
The certificate recognizes the Kinai Maru as a historic cargo vessel that cut about 10 days off the voyage between the U.S. and Japan, marking the full-fledged era of the high-speed diesel cargo ship in the early Showa Era (1926-1989) and the Sunflower (1st generation), a luxurious, large-scale, high-speed car ferry, as a pioneer in Japanese cruising.
The Kinai Maru, a general cargo ship built in 1930, featured a more powerful diesel engine than any merchant vessel of its time, and led to significantly faster voyages. Especially in the transport of raw silk, it marked a major innovation in logistics, shifting trade to a direct route via the Panama Canal from a combination of ship and rail transport.
The Sunflower (1st generation) represents a new era for luxury car ferries, offering the same level of facilities as cruise ships. The MOL Group was not involved with its building or operation, but since then, many ferries bearing the Sunflower name have been launched, including the Sunflower Satsuma and Kirishima (Note 4), which received the "Ship of the Year in Garner Large Passenger Ship Sector Award" last year. It was selected for Ship Heritage certification as the first generation.
The Japan Society of Naval Architects marks the 120th anniversary for its founding this year. The "Ship Heritage" certification project was launched with aim of widely popularizing the historic value of ship-related heritage among the public in Japan, helping to pass it along to future generations as cultural heritage. This year, eight vessels were selected for the certificate from public nominations for vessels and other ship equipment and facilities that have historic, academic, or technological value (a total of 32 certificates have been issued since 2017).
MOL continually pushes ahead with its "ISHIN NEXT - MOL SMART SHIP PROJECT -" to develop and introduce new technologies that will reduce vessels' environmental impact and ensure safe operation, while delivering safe, reliable transport services.
Kinai Maru (1930 - 1943)
General cargo ship, bulit at Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. Nagasaki Shipyard, and operated by OSK Lines, one of MOL’s corporate forebears.
G/T: 8,365 tons, DWT: 10142 tons, Main engines: two high-speed diesel engines, two shafts (8,262 PS), Length: 135.94m, max. speed: 18.4 knots
Sunflower (1st generation) (1972 - 1998)
Cargo and passenger ship bulit at Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. Kobe Works in 1972.
G/T: 11,312 tons, Main engines: four high-speed diesel engines, two shafts (12,840 PS x 2), Length: 185.00m, max. speed: 25.6 knots
July 20, 2017 press release
Engine Control Console Installed on Bridge of Kinkasan Maru Certified as 1st 'Ship Heritage' - A Pioneer of Remote Operation and Automatic Control of the Main Engine -
Please refer to the following past press releases related to Sunflower Satsuma and Kirishima.
November 20, 2015 press release:
MOL Subsidiary, Ferry Sunflower, Decides to Build 2 Newbuilding Ro-Pax Ferries
September 19, 2018 press release:
Launch of the new Sunflower Kirishima - Providing a More Comfortable "casual cruises" Experience -
July 31, 2019 press release:
MOL Group Companies Earn 2 Awards in "Ship of the Year 2018" -MOL Car Carrier Beluga Ace Receives Ship of the Year 2018, Ferry Sunflower's Sunflower Satsuma and Sunflower Kirishima Garner Large Passenger Ship Sector Award-