The three passenger transfer vessels are set to arrive on Norfolk Island following the completion of successful sea trials and their departure from Port Macquarie on 21 July.
The vessels, which can hold up to 90 people each, will be used to transfer cruise ship passengers from ship to shore. They are anticipated to arrive on a barge towed by a tug on 27 July, depending on weather and sea conditions, in readiness for the cruise ship season.
Many entries to name the vessels were received and considered by a committee comprising the Mayor of the Norfolk Island Regional Council, and representatives from the Norfolk Island Council of Elders, tourism and business sectors, Norfolk Island Central School, and my office.
Names reflective of Norfolk heritage and pride in local language, flora and fauna, and the sea have been chosen.
The vessels will be named Wana (sea urchin), Hihi (periwinkle) and Nuffka (Kingfisher).
All three successful names were among those submitted through entries from the school and I look forward to personally congratulating the students for their creative and thoughtful efforts.
The short and easily distinguishable names will also assist in maritime communications.
Associated road and infrastructure works on Cascade Road, which are scheduled to commence shortly, will allow for movement of the vessels from Cascade Pier to potential storage locations. These civil works are budgeted to cost approximately $625,000 and, together with the $3.9 million for the passenger transfer vessels, is a significant investment by the Australian Government to support Norfolk Island as a desirable cruise ship destination.
The tender for the operation and management of the PTVs closed on Friday, 26 July and the Department will now assess the tenders. The community will be kept informed as this process is finalised.