The latest addition to FISA’s fleet cruised into Nuku’alofa and arrived at the Faua harbour yesterday after a couple of days trip from Singapore.
The Tongan Government’s new passenger catamaran which operated between Singapore and Batam, will be launched by His Majesty King Tupou VI on Friday 12.
The king has named it as MV Tongiaki.
The ferry will officially join the inter-island fleet sailing on Friday with its maiden voyage to Vava’u and Ha’apai, returning to Nuku’alofa on the same day.
Built at PT Cahaya Samudra Shipyard in Indonesia, the 200 passengers enter through midship boarding doors and sit in forward-facing seats.
The passenger facilities include four seats for crew members and at the aft end of the cabin are a 6-person crew room and kiosk, as well as three heads.
The upper deck, free of passengers, features just the wheelhouse with excellent all-round visibility.
The 33 metre vessel is powered by a pair of MAN D2862 LE463 main engines, rated at 1029kW, driving fixed pitch propellers, Majestic 7 performed well in sea trials, reaching a loaded speed in excess of 30 knots. The vessel will be operated at a service speed of 28knots at a reduced MCR.
The catamaran arrived in Tonga four months after the MV Maui, a TP$1.7 million aluminium double-hull ferry which could carry 390 passengers and six crew, was commissioned by King Tupou VI in August 2017.
MV Maui belonged to the people of ‘Eua and it was operated by the ‘Eua Sea Transport Council.