Early risers were treated to an unusual arrival at Port Nelson yesterday when the Interislander flagship Kaitaki came through the Cut and tied up at McGlashen Quay.
The 22,365-ton ferry was off the port at 7am as scheduled and berthed at 8.20.
Harbourmaster Dave Duncan said the arrival went smoothly and he hoped it would be the precursor of more Interislander visits.
"It's great to see it here. It's great to see the number of people working on it and the jobs it's providing."
At 182 metres, the Kaitaki is 40-50m shorter than the large container ships which frequently visit the port, and has a relatively shallow draught.
Duncan said wind was the only potential problem with it using the port, but Sunday's conditions were perfect.
The trip to Nelson was extended by about an hour because the Kaitaki did a loop in Queen Charlotte Sound, so some of its crew could meet their annual pilotage requirements.
The Kaitaki is here for a refit and marine survey, which the company has likened to a warrant of fitness check for a car.
The work is being led by Port Nelson marine firm Diverse Engineering, and includes an engine overhaul, installation of a new rescue boat and a spruce-up of the paintwork.
The ship is scheduled to sail for Picton at 11pm on Sunday.
- The Nelson Mail
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