The world's first amphibious coach has been launched, allowing bus passengers to take to the waves.
The Amphicoach, which carries up to 50 passengers, is the brainchild of Scotsman George Smith.
The vehicle drives like a traditional coach until it reaches water, where its makers say it exhibits 'astonishing' sailing abilities.
The coach's wheels retract into a hull, made from marine-grade aluminium, allowing it to reach speeds of up to eight knots, powered by a jet-drive unit.
According to its makers, the Amphicoach can compete with any luxury standard road coach for performance, safety and comfort.
"On the other hand its sailing capabilities are accepted by marine experts involved in the project as being astonishing," said a spokesman.
"This feature consequently makes the vehicle suitable for extended water tours. The Amphicoach is able to operate day and night, in both fresh and salt water, which is highly unusual."
Twelve vehicles are to be built each year, under the supervision of Lloyd's Register, with Australian, Dutch and German companies said to be interested.
The spokesman added: "Due to the vehicle's superior stability and safety features the Amphicoach is a Modern Technological Wonder.
"Soon people will no longer be satisfied with just a city coach tour, they will want the complete package, a city coach tour with a water cruise built in." (ananova.com)
amphibious -- (adj.) 兩棲(類)的；水陸兩用的；兩棲作戰的；海陸空協同作戰的。
coach -- (n.) (美) 巴士，公車；(英) 長途巴士。
launch -- (v.) (產品) 推出，問世。
take to the waves -- (v.) 坐車到水面上。英文中 -- 尤其是新聞英語中 -- 還有一個結構相似但相當常用的片語，那就是 take to the streets -- (v) 走上街頭 (示威、抗議)：We must take to the streets in protest against the incompetence and corruption of the government. (我們必須走上街頭示威，抗議政府無能、腐敗)。
brainchild -- (n.) 智慧結晶；(某人的) 創作，獨創的構想。
astonishing -- (adj.) 令人驚訝的；驚人的。
retract -- (v.) 縮回，縮進。
hull -- (n.) 車殼；船殼。
marine-grade aluminum -- (n.) 船舶級鋁，即製造船舶用的鋁。新聞英語中還有一個結構相似但常見許多的片語，那就是 weapon-grade uranium -- (n.) 武器級鈾，即製造武器用的鈾。marine -- (adj.) 船舶的，航海的；海運的，海事的；海洋的。
knot -- (n.) 節 (航速單位。1 節等於 1 海里/小時)。
jet-drive -- (adj.) 噴射驅動的。jet-drive unit：噴射驅動裝置。
compete with -- (v.) 比得上。
luxury -- (adj.) (僅用在名詞之前) 昂貴的；豪華的；高檔的。
Lloyd's Register (of Shipping) – (n.) 勞埃船級社 --世界第一個也是最大的船舶分級學會，成立於1760年，主要從事建立商船的製造和維修標準，並提供技術服務。
with Australian, Dutch and German companies said to be interested -- (prep.) 據說澳洲、荷蘭和德國的公司都有 (採購的) 興趣。在 "with + 名詞 + 現在分詞/過去分詞" 這種 with 的複合結構中，若名詞為主動，則其後接現在分詞，若為被動，則接過去分詞。由於這些公司是被說的，不是他們自己說的，所以其後用 said，而不是 saying。
modern technological wonder -- (n.) 現代科技奇蹟。
complete package -- (n.) 完整的套裝旅遊。
water cruise -- (n.) 水上巡行；水上巡遊。這裡又用到 with 的複合結構，其理解方式與上述相同。