The replacement for the stricken Interislander ferry Aratere has arrived in Wellington.

The Spanish ferry Stena Alegra, chartered by KiwiRail is docked at the capital's port, a CentrePort spokesman said today.

The new ferry was ordered from Europe for the busy summer period after the Aratere lost a propeller during a Cook Strait crossing last month.

As a result of the service being down a ferry, the company was losing about 45 per cent of freight and passenger capacity, Interislander general manager Thomas Davis said earlier.


With the Stena Alegra, the KiwiRail-owned company would recoup about 35 per cent, helping to minimise disruption until the Aratere was back in service.

The Stena Alegra, which was built in 1998 in Spain.

The ship has a passenger capacity of more than 350 and a cargo capacity of about 78 trucks or 325 cars. The passenger capacity of Aratere is 600 and its cargo capacity is 32 rail wagons and 28 trucks.

The Aratere, which recently underwent a $54 million revamp, was expected to be out of service for up to six months.