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Bluebridge Service To Add Sister Ship To Fleet

Wednesday 5 October 2005

Bluebridge Service To Add Sister Ship To Fleet

New Zealand owned shipping company Strait Shipping is to add a new passenger vessel the Monte Stello - sister ship to its existing passenger vessel Santa Regina - to the Bluebridge Cook Strait Ferry service. The Monte Stello is expected to enter service in early 2006.

The Monte Stello, which is almost identical in size and features to the Santa Regina, is currently chartered in the Canary Islands. Strait Shipping has signed a memorandum of understanding with the owner of the Monte Stello and it is expected that Strait Shipping will take delivery of the vessel in early January.

Strait Shipping managing director Sheryl Ellison says the company has been looking for a suitable vessel for some time and is delighted to have secured a ship that is very similar to the well established Santa Regina.

"We're very pleased to have obtained a ship that suits the conditions and environment of Cook Strait and the Marlborough Sounds and compliments our existing fleet."

Ms Ellison says the addition of another ship is the direct result of demand from the public.

"Both New Zealanders and international visitors have been extremely supportive of a Kiwi owned ferry service and the new ship will allow us to provide an improved offering to our passengers through a more comprehensive sailing schedule."

Once the new ship arrives, the Bluebridge service will offer four return sailings between central Wellington and Picton each day.

The Bluebridge service was officially launched in December 2003 by long time freight operator Strait Shipping which has been transporting cargo across Cook Strait since 1992.

ENDS

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