A 40-metre ferry capable of accommodating 50 people and 350 tonnes of cargo is to be deployed in the Northern Cook Islands by Taio Shipping by August-September.
Purchased from Norwegian interests, the rechristened ‘Moana Nui’ – previously named ‘Soroy’ – is to replace the services provided by smaller Taio Shipping cargo ships.
Equipped with a 30-tonne freezer hold, five-tonne chiller, ten-tonne heavy-lifting marine crane, two internal cargo holds and cabin bunks for 30 people, the ferry is said to be in “mint condition”.
Deployed with funding assistance from the Cook Island Government, the Moana Nui is to provide “as many services to the Northern Islands as possible,” said Taio Shipping owner Tapi Taio.
“’Moana Nui’ has the dry/freezer cargo capacity, speed, passenger comfort and capacity to run a service to all Northern Group Islands – ie, Rarotonga-Palmerston-Nassau-PukaPuka-Manihiki-Rakahanga-Penrhyn-Rarotonga – on a 17 to 19-day journey, six to eight times a year,” said Taio.
Taio has travelled to Norway to oversee maintenance, facility and livery upgrades on the currently dry-docked vessel, as well as the fitting of portable fuel tanks to enable its delivery voyage prior to embarking on the 65-day non-stop journey.