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New fast ferry arrives tomorrow in Wellington

For immediate release 24 July 2003

New fast ferry arrives tomorrow in Wellington

The Interisland Line's latest fast ferry sails into Wellington Harbour tomorrow afternoon, ready to go into service in just over a weeks time on Monday 4 August.

A 14-man crew, including The Lynx senior master John Clark, set sail from Tasmania on Wednesday of this week. Following a brief stop in Picton to check the berth and linkspan, plus clear MAF and customs, the new ferry will then head onto Wellington.

The 91-metre catamaran will undergo a week-long exterior 'makeover' programme to incorporate the famous Lynx 'swish,' as well as fit out the interior of the vessel with The Interisland Line signage. Operational testing, a liferaft drill, crew familiarisation and a public open day are also scheduled before the ship goes into service.

The public will be able to take a good look around the vessel at the charity open day on Saturday 2 August in Wellington, between midday and 3pm. The Coastguard - The Interisland Line's chosen charity for the event - will benefit from the gold coin entrance fee.

Thomas Davis, Group General Manager, The Interisland Line, believes passengers will love the new vessel.

"We're really looking forward to showcasing the latest addition to our fleet. It's certainly going to be great for passengers as there more seating options an attractive central skylight atrium and plenty of outdoor sundeck areas to take in the spectacular scenery of the Wellington coastline and Marlborough Sounds. Like our other vessels it will also feature a separate bar and café; children's play area and shop," he said.

The replacement fast ferry can accommodate approximately 760 passengers and 175 vehicles. It will operate year-round, but with a reduced weekend-only schedule over the winter months. It will commence service in time to cover the period when Aratere is in Auckland for its regular dry-dock maintenance check.

Owned by Australian company Allco, the vessel was previously known as 'The Cat,' and was operated by Bay Ferries between Nova Scotia and Maine, USA during the Northern Hemisphere summer months, then across Bass Strait in Australia for the Southern Hemisphere summer.


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