Aratere arriving in Wellington

03:54, Sep 23 2011
Aratere
ARRIVING HOME: The Aratere coming through Wellington Harbour this morning.
Aratere
ARRIVING HOME: The Aratere coming through Wellington Harbour this morning.
Aratere
ARRIVING HOME: The Aratere passes Ward Island on its way into Wellington Harbour this morning.

The newly super-sized Aratere ferry sailed across Wellington Harbour this morning on the final leg of its journey back from Singapore.

The Interislander ferry, which has been extended by 30 metres, left Singapore two weeks ago after undergoing a $52 million refit since late April.

It has berthed at Centerport where MAF and Customs officials are inspecting the ship, Interislander spokeswoman Cathie Bell said.

ferry before and after
The Aratere in 2007 at Tory Channel, before the makeover, top, and the Aratere during sea trials in Singapore.

The ferry is scheduled to sail passengers across the Cook Strait for the first time since its revamp on October 1.

It was due to return to New Zealand on September 1 in time for the Rugby World Cup but, electronic problems during sea trials delayed its departure from the Sembawang Shipyard.

It has taken seven days to sail back from Singapore.

The $52 million refit involved cutting the ship in half and adding a new mid-section as well as a new bow.

It is now capable of carrying 600 passengers, up from 360.

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