Aratere is the our little gem - only she's really not very little. Aratere was extended in 2011 with an additional 30 metres in length. The passenger space is predominantly on one level, making her very easy to get around. On board, you will find a new Hector's Café, Food Court, Bar, Children's Play Area and Shop. However, Aratere's greatest spaces are outdoors and on a sunny day she is the best ship on the Strait for soaking up those incredible views.
Here's a rundown of what's on-board
Located directly outside the Café Bar at the front of Deck 4 is the Lookout Deck. Here you can stand on the bow with a drink in hand and soak up the sun and the scenery to your hearts content!
Hector's café is a new addition to the Family Lounge area on Deck 4. Its the perfect place to grab a soothing barista made coffee and a slice of something nice, then sink back in a relexing armchair while watching the kids having fun in the Play Area!
Food Court Diner
With its sea-side diner atmosphere, seafaring food and stunning sea views, the Food Court is a great little restaurant area. So why not treat yourself to some yummy fish and chips and watch the magnificent sights sail by - view Sample Menu.
Local Heroes Bar
Bright and breezy, with spectacular views from the front of Deck 4 and an excellent selection of New Zealand's finest wines and modern craft brews, the Local Heroes Bar is a great spot to settle down and enjoy the journey -view Sample Menu.
Right at the front of Deck 4 is a row of seating that brings together the vibrant atmosphere of the Local Heroes Bar with the magnificent views of the sounds. So why not indulge in a coffee, beer or wine, and sit back and soak up the views.
It's difficult to find time for a movie, but your sail across the Strait could be the perfect time. Alternatively, drop the kids off and go and enjoy some peace and quiet out on deck! Information, tickets and popcorn are available from Hector's shop.
Whether you need a nice warm jacket, cool new t-shirt, an authentic pounamu, some entertainment for the kids, or Interislander memorabilia and souvenirs to take home, you will find it all in Hector's shop in the Family Lounge on Deck 4.
Aratere's Deck 5 is a place of calm and quiet. Here you can sit back and enjoy the tranquillity and beauty of the crossing, watching the scenery float by through huge windows whilst reclined in a comfy armchair. Ssshh, we know, its amazing.
Best Seats on the Strait
On those long summers days, the seating area outside on Deck 6 is the perfect spot to watch the beauty of New Zealand slowly drift by. The early evening sailing from Picton can also deliver the perfect sunset as it dips behind the hills of Marlborough.
Aratere has plenty of comfy seating areas. Our newest lounge is at the front-right of Deck 4, next to the Local Heroes Bar. Colourful and convenient, it also delivers some excellent views through the huge panoramic window at the front.
Perhaps the best spot for enjoying the views is on the Viewing Gantry. This is accessed via the stairs on the Lookout Deck, which is reached from the Local Heroes Bar at the front of Deck 4. It's well worth getting your shoes on and going for a look!
If you are sailing with little-ones who need their nap-time, then you will a nursery room with two cots, changing facilities and a wash basin on board Aratere. The nursery is located next to the Play Area on Deck 4 and is free to use, subject to availability.
Children's Play Area
The family zone is set at the heart of the ship on Deck 4. Here you will find a Play Area for younger children and open space for babies to roam. The play area is in the Family Lounge and Hector's Cafe, so you can relax and watch your children have fun.
The Family Lounge is at the heart of Deck 4 and has ample room for young families to spread out and relax. You'll find comfy armchairs, the children's play area, nursery and Hector's Cafe all in one space to help you decamp and relax.
Food & Drink Aplenty
There is all manner of food and drink available onboard. Whether it is a sandwich, a sausage roll, fish and chips, a barista made coffee, a cake, a beer or a bottle of bubbly. Check out the food and drink gallery to get a picture of everything that is on offer!
Like to recharge with a long black? Love to sink into a book with a sumptious cappuccino? Can't enjoy a glossy mag without a classy flat white? With barista coffee on sale in Hector's and the Local Heroes Bar, the solution is always nearby.
There's a touch of nostalgia in the wistful quiet spaces you find onboard. So take at least a moment to enjoy them and reminisce on that bygone era when people enjoyed the simple pleasure of doing nothing but relaxing in their free time.
There's nothing like the great outdoors - and that is doubly true in New Zealand. So why stay sat indoors? Aratere has two outdoor seating areas and several standing areas, so you can move around and enjoy different views as you travel.
Kaitaki Plus Lounge
If you fancy a more refined journey across the Strait, then book a seat in the Plus Lounge. Not only do you get comfortable, quiet environment, but you also get free food and drink - including wines and beers. See the Plus Lounge page for information.