New for 2020: MV Swift - A timeline of our new vessel's construction

Keep up to date with progress on our exciting new boat!

Work is well-underway on assembling Windermere Lake Cruises’ brand-new 300-seat boat, MV Swift, which is currently on-schedule to take to the water next year, 2020.

Built by Netherlands-based boat-builder Damen, the new addition to the Windermere Lake Cruises fleet will be the largest craft to be ‘launched’ onto Windermere for more than 80 years.

Too large to transport by road, the size of the vessel means it is necessary to build it in smaller sections off-site before being transported to Lakeside for final assembly.

You can also keep up to date on progress with this frequently updated timeline of construction highlights, with most recent developments and milestones listed first.

May 2020

Join John, our Operations Director for a brief behind-the-scenes tour of the partly-constructed vessel.

March 2020

  • All the windows are now fitted. The downstairs windows don’t open but are fitted with electrical wires that heat up and stop the windows from misting up. The upper windows do open by way of the top half drop down behind the bottom half and in affect making the upper deck almost an open deck.
  • The doors have been fitted, the majority of which are on sensors so that when a passenger approaches them they open and then close automatically.
  • The electrical wiring is being fitted and once completed the internal fitting out will begin.

MV Swift build : March update

MV Swift being built at Lakeside in March 2020: Internal wiring

MV Swift being built at Lakeside in March 2020: Glazing being fitted

February 2020

Work is well underway in fitting out the vessel with internal systems and some of the exterior glazing.

*Thanks to Kevin Wilkinson & Justin Barley for the photos

MV Swift at Lakeside Pier

MV Swift at Lakeside Pier

MV Swift at Lakeside Pier

MV Swift at Lakeside Pier

December 2019

Two significant days in the build of the new boat:

  • Tuesday 10 December - MV Swift is successfully maneuvered into position from the build site to the pier
  • Wednesday 11 December - the boat is gently lowered into the water for the first time

MV Swift after being gently lowered into Lake WIndermere for the first time

MV Swift after being gently lowered into Lake Windermere for the first time

And here's how it happened..

Day two timeline blog 01 optimised

Wednesday 11 December - 10am

The team from Mammoet begin to attach the straps around MV Swift in preparation for the lift.

Day two timeline blog 02 optimised

Wednesday 11 December - 10:20am

The two massive cranes prepare to lift the 150 tonnes of the boat.

Day two timeline blog 03 optimised

Wednesday 11 December - 11:45am

MV Swift takes to the air, slowly edging out over Lake Windermere.

Day two timeline blog 04 optimised

Wednesday 11 December - 11:55am

The boat is slowly rotated in preparation for landing in water for the first time.

Day two timeline blog 05 optimised

Wednesday 11 December - 12 noon

The boat is slowly lowered into Lake Windermere

Day two timeline blog 06 optimised

Wednesday 11 December - 12 noon

Edging towards the lake.

Day two timeline blog 07 optimised

Wednesday 11 December - 12:05pm

MV Swift's bow touches Lake Windermere for the first time.

Day two timeline blog 08 optimised

Wednesday 11 December - 12:15pm

She's afloat! After some quick safety checks, the straps are removed.

Day two timeline blog 09 optimised

Wednesday 11 December - 12:45pm

Afloat unaided for the first time.

Day two timeline blog 10 optimised

Wednesday 11 December - 2pm

Finally the wheel-house that was delivered on Tuesday is lifted into position.

Day two timeline blog 11 optimised

Wednesday 11 December - 2:15pm

The wheel-house is slowly lowered onto the vessel.

Day two timeline blog 12 optimised

Wednesday 11 December - 3pm

All done. MV Swift is complete with wheel-house safely located.

Tuesday 10 December - moving the boat from build site to launch position

Mv swift 00

Tuesday 10 December

The wheel-house arrives by road and is unloaded onto Lakeside Pier. This piece will be added to the floating vessel after it is lowered into Lake Windermere on Wednesday 11 December.

Mv swift 01

Tuesday 10 December

MV Swift is lowered onto a moving powered platform and is slowly maneuvered from the build site to the cranes at Lakeside Pier.

Mv swift 02

Tuesday 10 December

It was a tight squeeze between Lakes Aquarium and the woodland, but the ship eventually got through.

Mv swift 03

Tuesday 10 December

The tight squeeze as MV Swift makes her way to the launch position.

Mv swift 04

Tuesday 10 December

The ship edges its way closer to the pier

Mv swift 05

Tuesday 10 December

The view from above the maneuvering site. MV Swift half-way to the cranes and launch position.

Mv swift 07

Tuesday 10 December

MV Swift in position for launch on Wednesday 11 December

Mv swift 08

In preparation for the 'soft launch' of MV Swift into Lake Windermere.

Press & Media:

We have lots of high-res images and video of the maneuver and 'soft launch' over Wednesday 11 & Thursday 12 December. If you would like any please contact James Ventham on

The hull of MV Swift, before being soft-launched into Windermere

Earlier in December:

Two huge cranes have been moved to Lakeside Pier in preparation for moving the partly-finished boat onto the water for the first time. An announcement on the exact date and time of lowering the structure into the water will be made on this page soon.

Match this crane soft launch 03

One of the cranes arriving by road over Newby Bridge.

Match this crane soft launch 02

The cranes will be used to lower the present structure into Lake Windermere for the first time later in December.

Match this crane soft launch 01

Two huge cranes have been maneuvered to Lakeside Pier.

October & November:

Engineers from boatbuilder, Damen, have provided us with notes on progress on the ongoing construction of MV Swift, with good progress being reported ahead of the winter.

Swift progress 2

Progress in the last eight weeks has been swift (pun very much intended), with recent favourable weather helping the construction crew’s many crane lift operations which continues to see our brand new vessel, MV Swift, take shape.

Diesel gensets are now in position.

Swift progress 9

Transformers, frequency converters, batteries, FM200 bottle and bow thruster motor/tube have all been all lifted onboard and into their respective compartments or on MV Swift’s main deck, awaiting lowering to the vessel’s lower deck.

Swift progress 12

All aluminium upper deck sections have been lifted into place and aligned. Welding is expected to commence in the coming days.

Swift progress 15

Inside the vessel, installation work has continued for pipework.

Swift progress 16

Several floor support structures are almost complete, with interior painting well underway.

Swift progress 19

Engine room hatch fitting has been completed.

• Fair weather has enabled some painting over hull seam welds and scars to progress well.

• Work is continuing on seam welding on MV Swift’s upper deck (main deck saloon) structures.

• Designs for MV Swift’s lifejacket and CCTV arrangements are underway.


  • All MV Swift's main hull sections have now been delivered to the construction site at Lakeside, including the vessel's superstructure. Work on welding the main sections together is now well-underway.

The Windermere Lake Cruises management team has also travelled to Damen's steel-cutting facility in Holland, where they were given their first look at MV Swift's bridge.


This video was produced by Damen Shipbuilders who are constructing the vessel at Lakeside.

  • A third hull section arrived at the Lakeside construction site in on August 6th and a traditional keel laying ceremony was held. As per tradition in boat-building, a coin was welded to the keel of the new boat, to bless MV Swift as a symbol of good fortune.
  • You can see a short time-lapse video of the work that’s been done so far at Lakeside, below.


  • A security company was tasked with maintaining a watchful-eye around the site’s perimeter fence and to look-out for any signs of forced entry or unauthorised activities, while while the first two sections of MV Swift’s hull continued to be fabricated off site in Damen’s shipyard.
  • Preparation work began at Lakeside for the arrival of two of Swift’s hull sections, including laying a steel base on the car park surface and support cradles for the hull sections.
  • As planned, the road from Newby Bridge to Lakeside was closed for one hour whilst the transport company delivered the two sections for alignment.
  • The first two sections of MV Swift’s hull were welded together.

Ground-pressure testing at Lakeside


  • Ground Measurements at Lakeside were completed, with further work to ensure the site was suitable for building, transporting and lifting the hull.
  • The southern end of Lakeside car park was cordoned off, to enable the south end to be used for MV Swift’s construction. Access to that part of the site has been restricted to the Damen workforce and inspection teams from Lloyd’s Register and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA).
  • Our Operations Director, John Woodburn visited the Damen Shipyard (pictured below)


  • Damen engineers carried out a visit to the Lakeside construction area to design a final layout for the site, in preparation for hull sections’ future arrival.


  • The first cutting of the steel for MV Swift took place on 9 April 2019, off-site, at one of Damen’s facilities.


  • Multi-million-pound contract signed by Windermere Lake Cruises and Damen for construction of 300-seat MV Swift. You can read more about that, here.