Interislander confirms Easter sailings
All passengers booked to sail over Easter will be able to cross the Cook Strait during the holiday weekend, Interislander can confirm.
27 March 2023
Kaitaki has been out of service since 4 March due to a gearbox issue, and will not be operational until at least 10 April.
“Over the past few days, we have been in touch with about 8200 passengers booked on Kaitaki to travel from 1 April up to 10 April – Easter Monday,” says Interislander Executive General Manager Walter Rushbrook.
“While all passengers booked over the Easter weekend have been assured of a sailing, we’ve advised a small percentage of passengers travelling earlier in April we have had to cancel their sailing, with a full refund, asking them to contact us to re-book at alternative times if they still want to travel.
“By increasing other ferry sailings and taking a number of other steps, we’ve been able to advise more than 90 percent of Kaitaki passengers booked up till the end of Easter they can cross the Strait as planned, though some have been offered different times to their original booking. To help these passengers, we have employed additional call centre staff from today and we’re holding all available capacity on other ferry sailings for those who have been cancelled.
“Restoring Kaitaki has been a complex job. In the near future, we expect to be able to announce a date when Kaitaki will return to service.
“Easter is an important holiday break for New Zealanders and many rely on our services to cross the Strait. Our people have been working around the clock to manage existing bookings and arranging additional ferry sailings to accommodate customers who have bookings with us.
“In mid-March, we paused the ability to make new bookings for the coming weeks to prioritise space for those already booked with us.
“Despite our best efforts, the issues with Kaitaki have disrupted travel for many people, and we want to apologise to our passengers for that.
“Our people will be in touch soon with those passengers booked on Kaitaki later in April to confirm their travel arrangements. We recommend those passengers wait to be contacted by us in order to avoid waiting for help through the call centre.
“Looking ahead, we are working to build a much more resilient service, including purchasing two new, larger ferries that will be built at Hyundai-Mipo Dockyard in South Korea,” Walter Rushbrook says.