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Ferry Service Not Viable Says The Interisland Line

A proposed Wellington to Nelson ferry service would run at a financial loss, The Interisland Line announced today.

The decision follows an investigation by The Interisland Line.

“The idea of a ferry link between Wellington and Nelson is worth investigating,” said Thomas Davis, Group General Manager, The Interisland Line. “A Nelson service would complement our existing services to Picton. And all credit must go to Nelson Councillor Eric Davy for raising the opportunity for us to look at the possibility.

“But, having investigated the potential market for such a service and weighed this against the costs involved in running a vessel between the two ports, the figures just don’t stack up,” said Mr Davis.

The study concluded that under current market volumes, a direct Wellington to Nelson link would optimistically only attract approximately 10% of The Interisland Line’s passengers.

“Basically the fuel and operational costs of running a fast craft would be far greater that than any revenue generated,” said Mr Davis.

The feasibility of using a conventional ferry was also investigated, but with the slower crossing time the journey would take almost seven hours. This means it would be quicker for passengers to opt for the current option of a three-hour crossing time to Picton, followed by a two-hour drive.


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