Stena Allegra The Replacement ferry for Aratere docks in Wellington

Stena AllegraAs a replacement for the crippled interislander Arater, a Polish ferry has docked in Wellington.

Now Stena Allegra will function in place of the Aratere which lost its propeller last month sailing from Picton to Wellington.

The Interislander ship broke a shaft and lost a starboard propeller during a passenger voyage, leaving tourism and freight operators searching quickly for solutions as they advanced towards their busiest time of year.

Though the vessel is based in London but Thomas Davis, Interislander general manager said it had been sailing a route from Poland to Sweden when it was involved in a minor grounding in the Baltic during atrocious weather.

KiwiRail mentioned that the broken down Aratere would be out of action during the summer break which would cut freight and passenger capacity by almost half.

However it was given a green signal to transport freight in the guide up to Christmas.

Preparations are underway to get the Stena Allegra all set for Cook Strait and its first voyage will be in a fortnight.

The Stena Alegra, owned by Stena Finance BV, will assist the service over summer. It was built in Spain and has a passenger capacity of more than 350 and a cargo capacity of approximately 78 trucks or 325 cars. The passenger capacity of Aratere is 600 and its cargo capacity is 32 rail wagons and 28 trucks.