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MV Kaitaki (ex Isle of Innisfree (II)) – Past and Present

IMO Number: 9107942

MV Kaitaki

ex Challenger, Stena Challenger, Pride of Cherbourg, Isle of Innisfree

© Capt Jan Melchers

Isle of Innisfree – © Capt Jan Melchers

Steel twin screw motor vessel built in 1995 by Van der Giessen-De Noord, Krimpen aan den IJssel, Holland (Yard No 963) as RoPax ferry for Irish Ferries, Dublin

Technical Data

  • Length: 181.6 m (overall) 173.5 m (between perpendiculars)
  • Breadth: 23.40 m
  • Depth: m
  • Draught: 5.60 m
  • Tonnage: 22365 gross/6732 net/5794t deadweight
  • Engines: 4 x Sulzer 8ZAL40” diesels
  • Power: 23040 kW/HP
  • Speed: 21 knots
  • Decks: 10
  • Capacity: 1650/1350 passengers 600 cars/ 1780 lane metres
  • Call Sign: EIBW, VQAA9, ZMKI
  • IMO Number: 9107942
  • Official Number: 40306
  • Port of Registry: Dublin / Republic of Ireland, Nassau / Bahamas, Portsmouth / UK, Dublin / Republic of Ireland, Wellington / New Zealand

Location Data

Please note that this vessels AIS transponder and position data may be over an hour old and that this specific vessels position will only be displayed when it is within range of the MarineTraffic AIS system. The AIS transponder/ship position data featured on this page is intended for information purposes only and it is no way related to the safety of navigation at sea. All the AIS ship position data featured within this page is provided by marinetraffic.com and we are therefore not responsible for the content or the accuracy of this data


August 3rd 1994: Keel struck.

January 25th 1995: Launched.

© Pieter Inpyn © Pieter Inpyn 

Isle of Innisfree – © Pieter Inpyn (March 1995)

© Andreas Wörteler

Isle of Innisfree – © Andreas Wörteler (29/04/1995)

May 15th 1995: Delivered to Irish Continental Group. Manager; Irish Ferries Ltd, Dublin, Ireland.

May 23rd 1995: Commenced services between Dublin – Holyhead.

March 3rd 1997: Final service between Dublin – Holyhead.

April 18th 1997: Services between Rosslare – Pembroke Dock.

May 16th 2001: Last day in service.

May 2001: Proposed charter to Pan Adriatico, Italy and name change to VULCANIA did not materialise.

May 17th 2001: Laid up in Dublin.

June 14th 2001: Laid up in Le Havre.

March 2002: Chartered to P&O Portsmouth, Portsmouth, England.

June 6th 2002: Berthing trials in Cherbourg and Portsmouth.

July 1st 2002: To A&P, Falmouth for refit.

August 12th 2002: Renamed PRIDE OF CHERBOURG.

August 27th 2002: Berthing trials in Cherbourg.

September 12th 2002: Commenced services between Portsmouth – Cherbourg.

© Gary Davies

Pride of Cherbourg – © Gary Davies (Maritime Photographic)

October 15th 2002: P&O Ferries between Portsmouth – Cherbourg.

© Andreas Wörteler  © Andreas Wörteler   

Pride of Cherbourg – © Andreas Wörteler (Cherbourg, 21/05/2004)

© Andreas Wörteler © Andreas Wörteler   

Pride of Cherbourg – © Andreas Wörteler (Cherbourg, 22/05/2004)

© Robert J Smith © Derek Longly  

Pride of Cherbourg – © Robert J Smith (Portsmouth 10/06/2004 )(Left) and © Derek Longly (Portsmouth July 2004) (Right)

January 14th 2005: Completed service between Portsmouth – Cherbourg.

January 2005: Chartered to Stena RoRo, Gothenburg..

January 16th 2005: Left Portsmouth for Gdansk

January 19ty 2005: Arrived at Remontowa, Gdansk, Poland.

January 2005: Renamed STENA CHALLENGER.

February 7th 2005 – June 7th 2005: Chartered to Stena Line for services between Karlskrona – Gdynia.

© Andreas Wörteler

Stena Challenger – © Andreas Wörteler (Karlskrona)

© Jakub Bogucki © Jakub Bogucki 

© Jakub Bogucki

Stena Challenger -© Jakub Bogucki

June 2005: Upon completion of her charter she again sailed to Remontowa, Gdansk for refit.

June 2005: Chartered to Toll Shipping, Wellington, New Zealand and renamed CHALLENGER.

June 26th 2005: Arrived in Uddevalla for loading..

June 28th 2005: Left Uddevalla for Azores – Panama – Peru – Papeete – Wellington.

August 14th 2005: Arrived in Wellington New Zealand.

August 20th 2005: Displayed in Wellington.

August 22nd 2005: Commenced services for Interislander between Picton – Wellington.

April 17th 2007: Renamed KAITAKI.

© John Wilson © John Wilson

Kaitaki – © John Wilson (Brisbane, 01/08/2013)

© John Wilson © John Wilson 

© John Wilson

Kaitaki – © John Wilson (Brisbane, 07/09/2013)

September 15th 2016: Registered Owner; Zatarga Ltd.

May 2017: Sold to Toll Shipping, (KiwiRail) Wellington, New Zealand.

2020: Still in service Picton – Wellington.

All information is believed to be correct and no responsibility is accepted for any errors or omissions. All items included in this article are subject to © copyright. We would like to take this opportunity of thanking: Jakub Bogucki, Gary Davies (Maritime Photographic), Pieter Inpyn, Derek Longly, Capt Jan Melchers, Robert J Smith, John Wilson and Andreas Wörteler for their assistance in producing this feature.

Article © Nigel Thornton and Ray Goodfellow (Dover Ferry Photos Group)

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