The newly built Tiger V vessel berthing at Port Denarau yesterday. Photo: LUKE NACEI
By LUKE NACEI
The arrival of the new passengers service vessel, Tiger V on Monday to the Fiji Waters will boost economic opportunities and provide quicker alternative of water transportation for villagers and communities along the Mamanuca’s and the Yasawa’s.
The ship which can carry up to 200 passengers was built in Gold Coast Australia at a cost of $6.5 million dollars.
South Sea Cruises Chief Executive Officer Brad Rutherford said this was part of their fleet modernisation.
“It has been a year in the planning and part of our fleet modernisation project so we have got two new vessels coming in this year,” he said.
Tiger V is part of the company’s replacement program with a 24 meter high speed catamaran which will bring extreme benefits for the company. It is structured out of Aluminium and powered by Twin Yamaha with 690 kilowatts power.
Mr Rutherford said the vessel is more efficient in terms of fuel burn and just the modern design and all the modern navigational and operation equipment on board.
“The team is very excited and it’s going to add a great contribution to Fiji’s tourism industry particularly in the Mamanucas where we operate on daily basis,” he said.
Tiger V will be replacing Tiger IV which covers their runs at 9am midday and 3pm everyday out to the Mamanucas.
Tiger IV has operated well over decade and has carried well over a million passengers.
In the pipeline
Mr Rutherford said the second vessel is coming in the next couple of months and is similar designs and slightly has larger engines. She will service the Mamanucas as well the Yasawa.
At the back of these two vessels, the company is looking at investing its third vessel as early as next year.
South Sea Cruises at this point in time are going to add a 10am departure to their service. They are close to opening the Malamala Beach Club which is the first beach club located on an island on its own.
The company will be offering a new 10 am, 9am, 12pm, 3pm service. The 10am service will go to South Seas Island and Malamala Beach Club which should be an additional benefit to the tourism industry.
Meanwhile, Malamala Beach Club will be opening soon which is going to be taking 300 passengers or guest in a day.