Sailing resumes after Bluebridge Cook Strait ferry breaks down, again

The Bluebridge ferry Connemara has broken down. (File photo)

Iain McGregor/Stuff

The Bluebridge ferry Connemara has broken down. (File photo)

Connemara – the newest Cook Strait ferry – is back sailing after breaking down on Saturday for the third time since joining Bluebridge’s fleet in two months.

The company said on its website at 9.30am on Saturday the ferry had experienced an “engineering issue” and was undergoing repairs in Wellington.

Its 2am sailing from Wellington and 7.45am sailing from Picton on Sunday was cancelled.

The Saturday 8.15am departure from Wellington and 2pm return sailing from Picton had earlier been cancelled.

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The Connemara was repaired and later sailed as per its schedule at 8.15am from Wellington on Sunday.

Affected passengers would only be refunded if there was no available vehicle space on other sailings over the coming weeks, Bluebridge said.

“We understand this is very disruptive to our customers’ travel plans and we are sorry,” the company said on its website.


Interislander’s Kaitaki ferry had a rough start to 2023, with engineering faults putting it out of commission. In January, while carrying hundreds of passengers, it lost all power and drifted towards rocks.

The Connemara, which carries 500 people, did not have a smooth sailing since it started ferrying people between the North and South Islands from the start of this year.

It was berthed for five days on February 17 because of engineering issues, and it was taken out of service less than a day after it resumed taking passengers.

Bluebridge has been approached for comment.

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