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CONNEMARA arrived in Wellington on 29 January © Bluebridge Cook Strait Ferries

CONNEMARA arrived in Wellington on 29 January © Bluebridge Cook Strait Ferries

Bluebridge Cook Strait Ferries new ro-pax CONNEMARA arrives in Wellington after her long delivery voyage from Northern Europe

FerryNew Zealand Cook Strait ferry operator Bluebridge Cook Strait Ferries’, owned by StraitNZ, latest fleet addition, the ro-pax CONNEMARA, arrived in Wellington on 29 January after her long delivery voyage from Northern Europe, via the Panama Canal, and is now alongside Glasgow Wharf, being prepared to enter service on its new regular daily service between Picton and Wellington.

CONNEMARA completed her charter to Brittany Ferries in the first week of November 2022, having been used on the company's Cherbourg-Rosslare and Bilbao-Rosslare service and now replaced by the French operator's latest Stena E-Flexer, SALAMANCA. Following a drydocking at Damen Dunkerque facility, the ferry then started her long haul down under to start her new life in New Zealand.

CONNEMARA, bought from Stena RoRo in November 2022, is now the largest and most modern ferry to operate across the Cook Strait, until KiwiRail's two 53,500 gt vessels currently building at Hyundai Mipo in South Korea come into service for its ferry subsidiary Interislander in 2025/2026.

CONNEMARA was delivered in 2007 from Visentini and can carry 880 passengers and offers 120 passenger cabins, while also offering space for 195 cars and 2,255 lanemetres of freight.

Bluebridge currently operates a two-ship fleet, comprising the 2005-built ro-pax STRAITSMAN, which can carry 400 passengers, 340 cars and 1,211 lanemetres of freight. The second vessel in the fleet is the 1997-built ro-pax STRAIT FERONIA, which can carry 100 cars and 2,200 lanemetres of freight.

StraitNZ is owned since 31 March 2022 by Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners.

© Shippax / MH

Feb 01 2023

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