Replacement ferry starts on Monday
Aratere's replacement ferry, Stena Alegra, will start sailing Cook Strait on Monday.
Its first passenger sailing will leave Wellington for Picton at 5pm.
The ship has been prepared for operations over the last week, with berthing trials in Wellington and Picton, loading and unloading, and crew getting used to the ship's controls.
"A huge amount of effort has gone into getting the Stena Alegra ready for service. The extra capacity this new ship provides will alleviate the capacity constraint for all traffic across Cook Strait during this busy period, and we are very much looking forward to being able to offer our customers more capacity and more certainty over the coming months," Interislander General Manager Thomas Davis said.
Stena Alegra, will have two passenger sailings per day - leaving from Picton at 9am and then from Wellington at 5pm.
Two crossings will be freight-only and two will be a mix of freight and vehicle passengers.
Heavy bookings have been taken over the first few weeks.
The British-registered Stena Alegra will replace Aratere on the strait run for at least six months.
Aratere lost its starboard propeller on November 5 last year on a routine night sailing from Picton to Wellington, when the starboard shaft snapped just outside Tory Channel at the top of the Marlborough Sounds.
The Dominion Post