The Interislander Ferry - New Zealand


I’m at sea, but in a good way.

I’m crossing the gap between the New Zealand’s two islands known as the Cook Strait.

The journey gets most interesting when we reach the Marlborough Sound but today it’s a bit cloudy and rainy so I’m waiting to see it all unfold over the next day.

The Interislander is like a ‘floating bridge’, transporting passengers, passenger vehicles, commercial vehicles and rail freight between Wellington and Picton. Around 1 million passengers and ¼ million vehicles are transported each year.

I’m on the Kaitaki – the largest passenger ferry in New Zealand. Capacity for 1,650 passengers, 1,780 lane metres vehicles, 60 crew. 181.6m long, 22,365 tonnes, 20.5 knots max speed.

Even better, I’m in the Kaitaki Plus lounge which is billed as the most comfortable and luxurious way to travel between the islands.  And it sure feels that way. There are comfy chairs, free internet access, free papers, food and drinks, and no children under 18 years!  This is how I like to travel.

We had the chance to visit the bridge and speak with the captain and crew.  We all had a laugh when a crew member who was asked 'How long does it take to stop the ship?' said 'It depends if it hits the wharf or not.'  Don't worry, he was joking.  Although when we headed into Marlborough Sound I wondered, from a distance, how the ship would fit such a narrow passage. Luckily, it's a lot larger closer up!

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