Con Dao Express 36 Ship is launched in Hai Phong on November 22. Photo by VnExpress/ Giang Chinh Con Dao Express 36, launched Thursday by state-owned shipbuilding 189 Limited Company, will transport passengers between the southern beach city of Vung Tau and Con Dao Island from early next year. The craft will reduce travel time between the two destinations to three hours, instead of the current six to seven hours. The vessel has a body length of 46.85 meters (153.7 ft) and a maximum width of 12.2 meters (40 ft). Con Dao Express 36 will have a maximum speed of 35 knots (40 miles per hour), and is said to be the fastest ship in Vietnam. Officials say the vessel is highly stable and safe, and, combined with its spacious, comfortable passenger cabin, it will induce less seasickness. It has leather-draped, sound-proofed interiors and chairs that can tilt back 120 degrees. The seating on the double-storied vessel is divided into economy, deluxe and VIP sections. At the launching ceremony in the northern Hai Phong City, the shipbuilding company said Con Dao Express 36 was the largest, most modern double-storied ship in Vietnam, built following European standards. The 16-island archipelago Con Dao, once a notorious prison island, is also connected to the mainland by air route, thanks to an airport on Con Son, the largest and only one inhabitated island in the group.