The Aratere

The Aratere is a roro diesel-electric ferry that is currently in service with Interislander Ferries. She was built in Spain by Astillero Barreras S.A. in 1998 to replace the earlier Aratika, which was scrapped in 1999. She first saw service in 1999. She sails between Picton and Wellington. She has been involved in quite a few incidents, even earning the nickname 'El Lemon' (lemon meaning a highly flawed item). She celebrated her 20,000th crossing of the Cook Strait in 2009. Her current port of registry is Wellington, New Zealand. Aratere is Maori for "Quick Path".



Aratere after the 2011 rebuild. The blue section signifies the extension.

Aratere had the ability to accommodate 400 passengers and carry 70 cars, providing 1,005 lanemetres. In 2011 the vessel was extended by 30 m mid-body at a Singapore shipping yard, was given a new stern profile, a new bow, new generators, and a total interior refurbishment. She is now capable of carrying 650 passengers, and can carry five more trucks and eight more rail wagons than previously.

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