Strait Shipping

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Strait Shipping Ltd
Industry Passenger and freight shipping
Founded 1992
Area served
New Zealand
Subsidiaries Bluebridge
The Santa Regina in Wellington Harbour

Strait Shipping Limited is a New Zealand firm that operates roll-on/roll-off freight and passenger shipping across the Cook Strait, between Wellington in the North Island and Picton in the South Island. Passenger services commenced in 2002 and operate under the Bluebridge brand.[1][2] Strait Shipping has in the past also operated freight shipping between Wellington and Napier, also in the North Island, and Nelson and Lyttelton in the South Island.[3]

The firm started operations in 1992[2] to compete with the Interisland Line, owned by the then state-owned enterprise New Zealand Rail Limited.



Strait Shipping is currently operating two ships.

The MS Santa Regina (gross tonnage 14,588 tons) was built in 1985 for French ferry operator Compagnie Méridionale de Navigation. She was purchased by Strait Shipping in 2002 and entered service in 2003.[4]

The Dutch-built MV Straitsman (gross tonnage 13,906 tons) was launched in 2005 as the Dueodde for Danish ferry operator BornholmerFærgen. Named after the company's first ship, she can carry 400 passengers and entered service with Bluebridge in December 2010,[5] replacing the Monte Stello.[6] The Straitsman is similar to, but smaller than, the Interislander ferry Kaitaki. Her twin sister M/S Hammerodde still operates for BornholmerFærgen.


MV Straitsman (gross tonnage 726 tons) carried freight from 1992 to 2004. She was sold and is now named Sinu-I-Wasa.

MV Suilven (gross tonnage 3,638 tons) carried freight and a small number of passengers from 1995 to 2004.

MV Kent (7,000 tonnes) carried freight from 2001 to 2010.

The MS Monte Stello (11,630 tons) was built in 1979 for French ferry operator SNCM. In 1996 it was purchased by the Lithuanien Shipping Company and renamed Palanga. Following charters to DFDS Tor Line and Trasmediterránea the Palanga was purchased by Strait Shipping in 2006 and returned to her original name. She carried freight until she was withdrawn from service when the Straitsman arrived in December 2010.[3]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b "The Strait Shipping story". Strait Shipping. Retrieved 7 February 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "The history of our fleet". Strait Shipping. Retrieved 7 February 2015. 
  4. ^ "The Santa Regina". Strait Shipping. Retrieved 7 February 2015. 
  5. ^ "The Straitsman". Strait Shipping. Retrieved 7 February 2015. 
  6. ^ "Sailing into the 21st century". New Zealand History. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. 18 April 2014. Retrieved 7 February 2015. 

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