The Ferry – A design voyage


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In 1850, the Leviathan – the world’s first roll-on/roll-off ferry for operation in open water – was placed in service across the estuary of the Firth of Forth in Scotland. Since then, ferries have developed into one of the most important and technologically-sophisticated ship types, able to carry large numbers of passengers and vehicles and to discharge and load in minutes. 

This volume builds upon the author’s longstanding research about the design history of ferries and their vital contributions to our modern mass culture, involving leisure travel and the rapid distribution of food and commodities. Its scope spans from the earliest train ferries to latter-day cruise ferries and the newest ro-pax vessels. The examples described and contextualised operate in many diverse contexts – Europe, the Americas, Australia, Japan and China. Richly illustrated and fully referenced, it aims to be the definitive work on its subject to date.

Updated and revised edition of the title The Ferry – A drive-through history, published in 2010.

Bruce Peter is Professor of Design History at The Glasgow School of Art.

Now published.

Additional information


Bruce Peter


Hardback, 28cm x 21cm




300, 288

Publication Date

End of March 2021


Ferry Publications


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