Real Journeys big cat tested
Real Journeys’ new multi-million dollar catamaran, MV Titiroa, is pictured here undergoing sea trials off the coast of Wanganui. The 55-tonne vessel is almost 24m in length and 7.5m wide, and is destined to operate on Lake Manapouri
as part of Real Journeys’ Doubtful Sound tours.
A big challenge still lies ahead getting MV Titiroa to the lake. The vessel will travel by sea via Lyttelton to Bluff, where
it will be lifted out and have its wheelhouse roof and propellers removed for road transportation to Lake Manapouri, which has no established launching facilities. “It’s something of a logistical nightmare,” says Real Journeys General Manager of Engineering, Brian Humphrey. “I think it’s probably the largest thing to move on these roads since the power station days. The transporter has had to import a trailer to carry it,” he adds.
MV Titiroa, the result of five years of planning and research, features double glazing to regulate the temperature efficiently, cut engine noise and help prevent windows fogging up. Its aluminium hull has been painted with Intersleek for streamlining and to cut emissions. It has energy efficient LED lighting throughout and onboard recycling facilities.
Energy efficient “hand sweepers” have been installed for drying hands instead of paper towels and crockery will be used instead of paper cups. It will be the largest vessel on Lake Manapouri, carrying 138 passengers and thereby reducing the number of vessels travelling across the lake at peak season. The wharves at both ends of have been upgraded and extended to cater for the MV Titiroa which is due to start operations in January. Once passengers have crossed Lake Manapouri they’ll board one of two new Volvo coaches to take them across Wilmot Pass to Doubtful Sound. On arrival at the fiord they embark on a three-hour day cruise aboard another multi-million dollar purpose-built vessel, Patea Explorer.