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Farewell Arahura

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From the KiwiRail staff newsletter, article by Julie Buchanan:


After 32 years of service and more than 52,000 Cook Strait crossings, Interislander ferry Arahura made her last return journey between Wellington and Picton on Wednesday 29 July. 
More than 500 passengers booked her final sailings to say goodbye. Her final journey was one to remember, with news crews from One Network News and TV3 News covering it in their 6pm bulletins. Passengers enjoyed a complimentary glass of bubbles on arrival, music by the band Uncle Monkey, Zappo the magician for the children and memento gift packs were handed out to passengers. 
The ferry joined the fleet in 1983 and arguably her greatest moment came on 16 February 1986 when she responded to a Mayday call from Russian cruise liner Mikhail Lermontov. Arahura under the command of Captain Brew arrived at the scene at about 9.30pm; her crew helped many of the 743 people onboard by transferring them via life rafts and boats to the ferry. It was a dark and raining heavily but nevertheless, Arahura’s crew with the help of some passengers worked through the night to get people safely on board. 
Over the years, Arahura has clocked up almost 13 million kilometers and her design has stood the test of time. She was the first ship in Australasia to feature a modern bridge and at the time the cockpit-style design of Arahura’s bridge was cutting-edge. 
Her maneuverability and capacity to smoothly handle even the toughest weather was soon recognised and not surprisingly, she became the darling of the Interislander fleet. 
Following Wednesday’s final sailings, Arahura will be farewelled on Friday night with a Wellington harbour cruise carrying early crew, first passengers and some VIPs.
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She's being replaced by Stena Alegra, to be renamed Kaiarahi. More info here https://www.interislander.co.nz/Our-Ships-And-Services/Kaiarahi.aspx


Stena Alegra was the replacement used in 2014 when the Aratere was out of service. I haven't sailed on her but didn't hear anything much complimentary in 2014. Hopefully she is getting a bit of a spruce up before going into service.

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A third bigger and carries a whole 100% less rail. Given Labour bought the rail dog for 820 mil of our money, gave away the profitable road freight side for free and we drop a further 2 hundy a year into it keeping it on life support, what a great purchase this boat is... no rail siding.


Also leaves only 2 ILL boats in service that can carry trucks at max legal height.


No wonder Straitsman are running rings around them.


That said, am sad to see this workhorse go... travelled on her dozens of times....personally I think it was the last smart purchase the railway ever made

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