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Launch of a princess

Matilda Simmons
Wednesday, December 06, 2017

THE recently-acquired Lomaiviti Princess V is expected to be launched on December 12, 2017, just in time for the festive season.

However, the vessel will sail to Kadavu on December 11 says Goundar Shipping Ltd owner and manager George Goundar. This is because their Kadavu route has been one of their strongholds and he wants passengers there to get a feel of their inter-island ferry and its services.

"Then from there we'll launch it for the Suva-Savusavu route," he said.

Mr Goundar said with the new vessel, travellers could expect a daily service from Suva from 8am to Savusavu instead of waiting as early as 4am to board.

"There's been an outcry especially in the festive season like December.

"And there have also been issues regarding the overloading and overcrowding and we're responding to it. As far as I'm concerned shipping is better now than six years ago," he said.

It is expected that more than 50 people will be employed on the 52-year-old vessel which has the capacity to accomodate 1500 passengers.

"I've got two Canadian engineers. One of them has over 22 years of experience and he shared some of his knowledge to our local crew," said Mr Goundar.

"I've also got two women coming in from Canada, a cook and a deckhand. It's a plus for women seafarers where they have facilities where they can sail now.

"I have 210 employees and they have mouths to feed …. and I've been blessed with their loyalty. They have been with me for the last six years.

"You can see the reward is there with five vessels," said Mr Goundar.

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