A new ferry to be deployed at the Likoni Channel has began its journey from Turkey.
Mv Jambo, which is expected to ease services at the busy channel, is at the Özata Shipyard in Turkey and is expected to arrive in July.
The ferry will officially launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta in July.
On its Facebook page, Kenya Ferry Service (KFS) said: “New ferry Mv Jambo ready for launching from the Ozata shipyard, Turkey.”
In pictures seen by the Nation, the doubled-ended ferry which has an overall length of 84.6 metres has been crowned with Kenya and Turkey flags.
The second ferry, MV Safari, is expected to be delivered in November 3, 2017, according to the KFS management.
The vessels were purchased from Turkey at a cost of Sh1.9 billion and will bring the total number of ferries at the Likoni crossing to seven.
They are expected to help decongest the sea channel that transports an estimated 330,000 people and 5,000 vehicles every day.
“Our team is in Turkey to inspect the progress and the construction which is complete for the first ferry. The shipment of MV Jambo will start early June and by July 27 we expect it to be at our premises. MV Safari will be delivered on November 3,” said KFS boss Bakari Gowa in a past interview.
According to designs seen by the Nation, each ferry will have a seating capacity of 1,391 passengers and a designated area for people living with disabilities, the elderly and expectant women.
Currently, commuters – including the sick – must stand while travelling in some of the ferries including MV Nyayo, MV Harambee and MV Kilindini.
The vessels with the capacity to carry 64 vehicles will also have two rescue and emergency boats on-board, the plans show.
Unlike the old ferries, the new ones will also have washrooms for passengers.
“In the new ferries, passengers will be on the upper deck and vehicles in the lower one.
“We expect the August and December holidays to best as we will have free flow of services,” Mr Gowa said.