Interislander’s flagship ferry returns with facelift
12 September 2013 4:04PM
Interislander’s flagship passenger ferry – the Kaitaki – arrived in Wellington this morning after making its way back from drydock in Brisbane with a brand new look. The ship departed Wellington just over six weeks ago for drydock work as well as a $4.5 million refurbishment of the passenger areas.
“Following the decision in May this year to renew the ship’s lease for another four years until 2017, a refurbishment of the passenger areas on the ship was a logical investment for us,” says Interislander General Manager Thomas Davis.
The main scope of the refurbishment included a revamp of the foodcourt area, the bar, the atrium and the toilets, as well as the passenger thoroughfare and family lounge on deck 8.
Mr Davis says the design of the refurbished areas has a strong Kiwi feel. “It was important for us that the ship’s facilities were modern, comfortable and reflected New Zealand. We also wanted to provide a better flow through the different areas of the ship and give it a much newer and fresher feel.”
The Foodcourt, which has now been re-branded ‘Ocean View Eatery’, was stripped and rebuilt with the space opened up through into the Rembrandts Lounge and a new seating layout providing sea views from all seats within this area.
“This will make the space more appealing for our customers to enjoy for the duration of their Interislander journey as opposed to just being used for dining purposes,” Mr Davis says.
Like the Foodcourt, the Karori Rip Bar was also entirely stripped back and rebuilt and has been renamed ‘Local Heroes Café & Bar’.
“The old Irish Bar theme has been replaced with a bright, modern space that has fantastic images of New Zealand scenery and outdoor activities. This area will now appeal to a far wider cross section of our customers as a space to enjoy their Interislander journey.”
Irish Company MJM Marine Ltd, which has had significant experience in ferry and cruise ship refurbishment work, led the project, in partnership with Swedish company Figura who specialise in ferry passenger design. MJM Marine Limited has undertaken refurbishment work on cruise ships like Pacific Pearl, Saga Pearl and Celebrity Infinity, as well as Ro-Pax ferries like Stena Superfast.
Some additional work will be undertaken over the next week to prepare the ship to the highest possible standards for our customers before it re-enters service on Saturday 21 September.
“Over the last couple of years, Kaitaki has been the busiest she has ever been during the peak summer period. We are looking forward to delivering a more modern and comfortable ship for our passengers in time for Spring and our peak Summer period,” Mr Davis says.
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