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Hero Gadget - Globe

Service Announcement - Cook Strait Sailing Disruptions | November 2013

Posted on 6 November 2013


Interislander has announced its decisions to charter a new vessel to assist with the capacity and service over the peak summer period while the Aratere is out of service.

Interislander charter ferry - Stena Alegra

The Stena Alegra, a roll-on roll-off passenger ferry, has passenger capacity of more than 350 and a cargo capacity of approximately 78 trucks. She left Europe today (Nov 28) and is expected to arrive in New Zealand by the end of December. The aim is to have it in service by mid-January 2014, unfortunately this means the Alegra will not be able to assist in the busiest month of the year, December. 

The Arahura and Kaitaki ferries are now fully booked through to the 24th December.  These ships are operating 24/7 so additional sailings are not possible.

The alternative services we have been able to source are in operation but space is very tight. 

Interislander is still working through the options for the Aratere’s repair. Details of the new timetable with the Stena Alegra will be made public as soon as they are available. 

Thank you for your patience as we face this challenging time together.


Further updates on Cook Strait delays due to damage to the Aratere Interisland Ferry: At this stage repair options and alternatives are still being worked through.

It is expected this ship will not operate as a passenger service for up to six months. Replacement lease vessel options are being assessed at present with possible introduction in the New Year.

In the coming weeks until Christmas, freight demand will be significant. With reduced capacity on the Cook Strait it is imperative that you allow extra transit times to get freight to your end customers. Do not leave urgent orders until the last minute, start sending now.

We have procured additional capacity across alternate modes; however there are space restrictions here also.

Our teams will be working hard to minimise further disruption, and we appreciate your patience during this challenging time.


We have been notified that Aratere Interislander Ferry may now be out of service for up to two months.

As you can imagine this could not have happened at a worse time with freight volumes significantly higher as we head towards Christmas.

Whilst the Kaitaki and Arahura ferries are still in service, our team are endeavouring to secure additional space on alternate providers. 

Our aim is to minimise any transit delay, however it is crucial for you to plan ahead. Advise your customers of the current situation and start sending your urgent Christmas orders through now to allow for additional transit times between the North and South Islands.

Please contact your local branch to arrange bookings or for further information.


Due to damage to the Aratere, Interislander has advised that there will be disruptions on its services across the Cook Strait.

At this stage all sailings on the Aratere will be cancelled for 48 hours as work is carried out to fix the damage. Due to limited capacity on the remaining ferries and the high volume of freight at this time of year please expect some delay. 

Will we keep this page update as more information comes to light.