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New Ship To Join Cook Strait Fleet

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
New Ship To Join Cook Strait Fleet

Ferry company Strait Shipping - longtime freight operator and owner of the Bluebridge passenger service - is to add to its Cook Strait fleet with the acquisition of a newer, greater capacity and more environmentally friendly ship.

Strait Shipping has purchased the Danish vessel Dueodde, which will join the company's Cook Strait freight and Bluebridge passenger services in December.

The ship is to be renamed the Straitsman in recognition of Strait Shipping's first vessel, in service for eleven years from when the company began in 1992.

The new Straitsman, at just five years old, will be the youngest ship on Cook Strait.

Strait Shipping managing director Sheryl Ellison says the company is delighted to have secured the vessel after a worldwide search.

"This ship is the perfect mix of space and sustainability. It will provide us with 50% increased freight and vehicle capacity and space for a third more passengers than the vessel it replaces - while burning significantly less fuel."

"It will enable us to meet our freight and passengers needs in the high season, and around key events such as Rugby World Cup 2011, while remaining sustainable during the slower off peak."

Ms Ellison says the company anticipates the new Straitsman will become a valuable addition to both the freight market and the region's tourism industry product.

"The purchase is a very significant investment for a private, New Zealand owned company and represents our long-term commitment to servicing the route."

Manufactured in a Dutch shipyard in 2005, the purpose built roll-on roll-off vessel has a range of green features including its fuel efficiency, utilisation of waste heat for heating hot water and passenger areas and allergy free passenger zone.

The ferry's contemporary Scandinavian designed interiors areas accommodate 400 passengers housed in comfortable modern cabins and reclining seating.

On-board facilities include a cafeteria, reception area, shop, a family area, viewing lounge and allergy free zone. Big screens will be installed to allow for the Bluebridge service's offering of free movies.

The vessel is equipped with high-tech navigation aids, stabilisers, two powerful bow thrusters and in-line high lift flap rudders to ensure efficient manoeuvrability.

The ship - currently connecting the island of Bornholm with the Mainland of Denmark - will compliment the company's vessel the Santa Regina, replacing the smaller capacity Monte Stello.

Strait Shipping crew will fly to Denmark to oversee drydocking of the vessel before making the six week journey back to New Zealand.

Privately owned, Strait Shipping has been moving freight between the North and South Islands since 1992 and diversified into the passenger market with the launch of the Bluebridge service in 2003.

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