SEVERN Link, which will operate the new ferry between Swansea and Ilfracombe, has bought a vessel to use for the service.
Ahead of the eagerly-awaited cross-Bristol Channel link starting in March, the company has purchased a new 360-passenger 34 knot catamaran.
It is the first delivery in a two-vessel deal due to be completed in the New Year.
The Kvaerner FlyingCat catamaran was bought from Isle of Wight operator WightLink for a seven figure sum.
The ferry, which previously operated as the FastCat Shanklin under Wightlink ownership, has now been lifted from the water at Portchester in Portsmouth and is currently undergoing a full exterior repaint, re-branding and overhaul.
Once the repaint is complete, Severn Link will move the as yet unnamed ferry to its new base in Swansea for a full interior refit of the vessel which goes into service in March.
The entire refurbishment is expected to cost in the region of £100,000, with all suppliers for the interior refit being sourced wherever possible from Swansea and South Wales.
Geoff Metcalf , managing director of Severn Link, said, "Completion of the purchase by Severn Link brings closer to fruition the company's plans to run ferry services.
"This excellent modern vessel will make a crossing from Swansea to Ilfracombe fun, fast and affordable."