New Vanuatu Passenger Vessel Expected To Arrive In January

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Former Moorea Ferry to be operated under joint venture

By Jonas Cullwick

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, Dec. 31, 2013) – The new addition to the local passenger and cargo shipping services, the Vanuatu Ferry, is now due to arrive in the country in January 2014.

According to earlier media report, the roll-on-roll-off (RORO) vessel was due to arrive here in mid-December or January. Now the Acting Principal Licensing Officer, Captain Kembro Matheson, has confirmed the vessel will leave Pape’ete in Tahiti on January 6 on a voyage to Port Vila that will take approximately two weeks.

The eventual departure of the Vanuatu Ferry from Tahiti for Vanuatu has been certified by Vanuatu Ports and Harbors’ Captain John Nasak, the inspector and licensing officer, who visited Pape’ete early this month to carry out the second and final inspection of the vessel and to approve its departure to join the Vanuatu shipping sector.

Captain Matheson says Captain Nasak has since returned from the trip and the vessel will leave for Port Vila under the command of a Tahiti first captain and first engineer and a ni-Vanuatu crew of 8 sailors including 2nd captain and 2nd engineer.

Formerly the Moorea Ferry, the Vanuatu Ferry, at 669 gross tonnage is about the same size as the Havanah, which regularly does domestic runs from its base in Noumea, New Caledonia, is 54 meters long, has a top speed of 14 knots and cruising speed of 12 knots, and a dual aft and bow rump system.

The vessel has a canteen among its other facilities and it is expected to begin its passenger and cargo services all over Vanuatu soon after arrival, according to Captain Kembro Matheson.

It will operate under a joint Tahitian-and-local-investors operation.

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