Arahura to make 50,000th crossing (since 1983) of Cook Strait

Press Release – KiwiRail
The mighty quiet achiever Interisland ferry Arahura will make her 50,000th crossing of Cook Strait tomorrow morning.

The ship’s engine room logbook today showed the ship would achieve her 50,000k ‘berth day’ on the 0300 Picton to Wellington sailing on Thursday.

Since 1983 Arahura has ferried passengers, trucks and trains between the North and South Islands, clocking up two and a half million nautical miles or about 4,600,000 kilometers, and making the equivalent of over 35,000 trips around New Zealand.

State-of the-art when first commissioned, the Arahura has long been a crowd favourite with many particularly enjoying her forward looking Queen Charlotte Lounge. Arahura’s innovative bridge design, speed and manoeuvrability have also endeared her to many past and serving Masters and crew members.

GM Interislander Thomas Davis said Arahura had been the fleet’s flagship for the last 31 years.

“During this time the ship and her crew have adapted to a changing marketplace to provide great memories to many millions of people.

“All past and present crew that have sailed on Arahura can be personally very proud of the service they’ve provided and their contribution to both New Zealand’s supply chain and tourism network.”

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  1. Al Neal, 26. June 2014, 9:17

    Something wrong with the calculations, I think.
    Arahura has crossed 50,000 times and travelled 4.6 million kms? So one crossing is about 92 kms – sounds about right. And 4.6 million kms is equivalent to 35,000 trips around New Zealand?
    So divide 4.6 million by 35,000 and you get 131 kms per trip. That is, you are saying a circuit of New Zealand is just 131kms?
    Look at it another way: you say 50,000 crossings is equivalent to 35,000 trips around New Zealand? So one trip around New Zealand is equivalent to 1.43 crossings – doesn’t make sense, does it?

  2. Phil C, 27. June 2014, 0:48

    A fine vessel. I well remember being taken over Arahura following her delivery voyage in 1983 and she seemed terribly sleek and stylish, from her lovely wood veneers, to the leather passenger seats and to the Scandinavian panels in the cafeteria and children’s play area. Much of the interior was ruined in a disastrous refit in the 80s by Athfield Architects, shore-based folk who should never have been let near the ship. The subtle and sophisticated Scandinavian design was obviously lost on them as they replaced it with poor quality materials. Arahura was one of the last vessels built by Aalborg Vaerft in Denmark and has pronounced “tumblehome”, the narrowing of the ship’s hull above the waterline. She was, I believe, the first of the diesel electric ferries to operate on AC as opposed to DC, and introduced a new funnel livery (her original livery was far and away the best.) It was very sad to see the butchery of her aft superstructure to ensure compliance with SOLAS, and I’m sure a more sensitive job could have been done. Nonetheless, she remains a graceful looking lady on the Strait and at 31 years, the longest serving NZ Railways/Interisland line ferry.


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