As many already know, one of The Interislander’s largest passenger ferries, The Aratere, is expected to be out of service for at least 6 months after losing one of its propellers last month. This has, and will likely have a reasonably large impact on how vacationers in New Zealand manage to travel between the north and south islands this summer. Especially when renting a vehicle with no prior booking secured.
At this stage existing Interislander passenger and vehicle bookings will be honored, with many being rescheduled to alternative services, however no new vehicle bookings will be taken – with only foot passengers accepted.
Interislander general manager Thomas Davis is quoted by the NZ Herald as saying “We originally forecast to carry approximately 200,000 passengers and 55,000 cars during December and January. We now expect to carry only 140,000 passengers and 33,000 vehicles without an additional ship.”
What this means for new rental and relocation bookings that cross islands, is that either you will need to have a booking in place prior to organising your car hire, or the rental operators listing their relocations, and include the ferry crossing will be attempting to secure a booking for you with The Blurbridge ferry.
On discussion with Bluebridge, there are limited vehicle crossings available for Christmas and in January, however these placements are filling fast. Foot traffic is still available so this means that relocations within islands, such as Wellington to Auckland and Christchurch to Picton are still great options.
The Interislander has a replacement vessel scheduled to arrive some time in February so keep your eyes on the media and us for updates!