The ceremony, which took place at Yesou on the 5th July 2024, was attended by numerous guests including Mr Og Yeol BAG, CEO of KT Marine, the Chargé d'affaires of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in South Korea, Onny Jalink, Damen Regional Sales Director Asia-Pacific, Thomas Röwekamp, and various local stakeholders including Mr Jeong, Ki Myung, Mayor of Yeosu City, Ms Baek, In Sook, Chairwoman of Yeosu City Council, and well as various members of the National Assembly, of the Provincial Council, of the Yeosu City Council, of the Yeosu regional office of Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, of the Korea Ocean Business Corporation, of the Korea Shipping Association, of the Korea Maritime Transportation Safety Authority, and of the Yeosu Gwangyang Port Authority.

Hamel will transport up to 423 passengers at speeds of up to 40 knots. She will operate a route between Yeosu Harbour and Geomundo Island. Hamel is the seventh Damen Fast Ferry, and the fifth Fast Ferry 4212, to be delivered to South Korea in recent years.

Catamaran comfort & robust reliability

The Fast Ferry 4212 is a catamaran design known for its high levels of passenger comfort, low fuel consumption and low maintenance costs. The vessel was built at Damen Song Cam Shipyard in Vietnam. The ferry departed the yard end of June 2024 sailing to Korea on her own keel, crewed by Damen’s delivery team.

Mr Bag, CEO of KT Marine Co., Ltd. says: “We will greatly contribute to the development of a dynamic and comfortable daily economic life for local residents living in Yeosu-Geomundo area, and the revitalization of the tourism industry in Yeosu, through this introduction of newbuilt high-speed passenger vessel, Hamel, responding long-cherished dream of the residents of Yeosu.”

Thomas Röwekamp, Regional Sales Director Asia-Pacific at Damen says: “Just six months ago, we were honored to welcome KT Marine into the Damen family with their new Fast Ferry 4212 Hamel. Today, we are here in Yeosu to celebrate her arrival and it is fantastic to see all the proud stakeholders who have worked very hard to make this new project a reality. Hamel signifies more than just a vessel, as she represents a lot of history and connection between Korea and the Netherlands. We wish KT Marine, Hamel and her crew safe sailings between the scenic route from Yeosu to Geomundo Island.”

Onny Jallink, Chargé d'affaires of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in South Korea, Onny Jalink, says: “With a Dutch name and Dutch colours both inside and out, Hamel beautifully represents both the strength of the Netherlands - Korean relationship as well as Dutch values; in particular the Netherlands' dedication to smart and sustainable mobility. It was a pleasure and honour to join this arrival ceremony!”

What’s in a name?

Damen Shipyards Delivers En Avant 26 to Muller Dordrecht Damen Shipyards Delivers En Avant 26 to Muller Dordrecht

The ferry is named in honour of Hendrik Hamel, a Dutch sailor with the Vereenigde Oost-indische Compagnie (VOC) or Dutch East India Company. Born in Damen’s hometown of Gorinchem in 1630, Hamel sailed with the company to Indonesia in 1650. In 1653, while sailing to Japan, Hamel and his crew were shipwrecked on Jeju Island, Korea.

Refused permission to leave the country due to is isolationist policy at the time, Hamel remained for thirteen years in Korea before escaping, in 1666, to the Dutch trading mission on Dejima Island, Japan. Here, he wrote Hendrik Hamel’s Journal of a Description of Kingdom of Korea, 1653-1666. Published in 1688 in the Netherlands, the journal was the earliest first-hand account of a westerner in Korea.