Toll NZ sizing up Stena Challenger for Cook Strait

<p>Toll NZ is looking to charter the former English channel ferry <em>Stena Challenger</em> as part of revamping its Cook Strait ferry services, according to New Zealnd media speculation</p> <p>The 1,600-passenger ferry is one of a number of options the company is understood to be considering. </p> <p>In October 2002, the ferry was chartered to P&#38O Ferries for use on the English Channel run &#8211 from Portsmouth to Cherbourg &#8211 and was renamed <em>Pride of Cherbourg</em> . </p> <p>Last September, less than two years later, P&#38O said the ferry was to be laid up or chartered out until mid-2007, when her charter expired. </p> <p>On February 4, the ship was delivered to Sweden’s Stena Line and used as a temporary replacement on the company’s service between Sweden and Poland. </p> <p>At 30 metres longer than the <em>Aratere,</em> she could carry more than 600 extra passengers &#8211 a potential cash cow for the company. </p> <p>A deal has yet to be signed, but it is thought Toll NZ wants another vessel secured for the next summer.</p> <p>Toll NZ is though to be considering the ferry charter as a replacement for one or more of its existing vessels.</p> <p>A spokeswoman for Toll NZ told <em>Lloyd’s List DCN</em> that the company is looking at "a number of options for reconfiguration " but that "nothing has been confirmed".</p> <br />