Interislander is evaluating several ships as possible replacements for the Kaitaki ferry.
Interislander took out a five-year lease on the 1650-passenger, 550-car capacity ferry from her European owners Stena in 2005.
In June 2010 it opted to take out an option for a three-year extension.
Interislander, which celebrates its 50th birthday next Monday, will have to return the Kaitaki to Stena in June next year if it chooses not to renew the lease.
Interislander general manager Thomas Davis said Interislander is evaluating a replacements.
"At this stage in the process we will not confirm details of ships we are considering as it is commercial-in-confidence...
"Once we have all the information we need we will begin to assess our options over the next few months," Davis said.
- © Fairfax NZ News