15 October 2013
Viking explorers make landfall in Pacific paradise
The New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade has signed a contract with KNUD E. HANSEN for the design of a 500 GT SOLAS Passenger vessel for Tokelau, a non-self governing territory of New Zealand consisting of three coral atolls (Atafu, Nukunonu and Fakaofo).
The vessel, which is the only means of getting to and from the atolls, will be the first purpose built SOLAS Passenger vessel serving Tokelau, carrying up to 60 passengers in addition to 50 tons of cargo and supplies. With a design speed of 11.5 knots, the 270 nm voyage between Tokelau and Apia, Samoa, will take just under 24 hours.
Given the size of the vessel, space is at a premium; however, the vessel is equipped with 24 bunk beds, 16 reclining seats, a children’s play area, 80 m2 of open deck area for passengers, a sick bay as well as comfortable accommodation for 12 crew. 5 ten footcontainer units are carried, including two reefers. A crane for loading/unloading cargo is also provided.
Considering the sea conditions, and the length of the voyage, passenger comfort is a high priority for the design. Vessel accelerations for the passengers are being minimised by placing the accommodation aft, and Lloyd’s Register PCAC (Passenger and Crew Comfort) notation is being used as a design criteria.
Environmental considerations are also high on the agenda, in keeping with the impressive green credentials of Tokelau, who are the world’s first solar powered country. Battery banks will provide electrical power for essential services including air conditioning during hours of darkness. Sail assistance is also being investigated.
All project staff has been instructed to listen to Te Vaka www.tevaka.com when designing the vessel.