New Vessel Begins Operation In December
The Goundar Shipping Limited’s new vessel, Lomaiviti Princess IV will begin its operation for the Natuvu/Taveuni route on December 15.
This was confirmed to the Fiji Sun yesterday by the company managing director, Mr George Goundar wh0 also said “the new vessel arrives into the country this Friday”.
“On Friday, December 02, the company will be hosting a dinner inside the new vessel to welcome and thank the crews and the skipper for bringing in the new vessel,” he said.
According to Mr Goundar next week Wednesday, December 07, the company will perform the traditional welcome (cere) at Port Muaiwalu for the new vessel and the Minister for Local Government, Housing and Environment Praveen Bala will be the chief guest.
He said all his vessels would be at Port Muaiwalu for the cere.
According to Mr Goundar the Lomaiviti Princess IV will be on the dry dock, before beginning service, just to make sure that all under water gear are okay.
“Safety of passengers is our concern”
He said that this new vessel belonged to the people of Cakaudrove.
Mr Goundar said that during the Cakaudrove Provincial meeting last week, the seventeen “Yavusa’s” in Cakaudrove have agreed for Goundar Shipping to service the route.
He said he had given an incentive proposal to the people of Cakaudrove.
“The company will employ the Cakaudrove people in this vessel, and the province will also be receiving royalty every month.”
Apart from that, the people from Cakaudrove could also use the canteen inside the new vessel to sell their produce.
Mr Goundar said Cakaudrove paramount chief, Na Turaga Bale Na Tui Cakau, Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu had given his full support to the new service.
Last Sunday the Lomaiviti Princess IV had left the Solomon Islands on its way to Fiji.
The fares for this route –
– From Lovonivonu to Rabi $20
– From Lovonivonu to Natuvu $20
– From Lovonivonu to Suva $64
The new vessel will be based at Lovonivonu.
It will be leaving Lovonivonu at 6am reaching Natuvu 7:30am. It will return at 8am. Second trip will be at 2pm. For Rabi he said they would only make one trip in a week and that would be Wednesday.
In an earlier interview with the Commissioner Northern, Mr Josefa Vocea he said the new trip would boost the economic activities in Taveuni.
He said the advantage of this new service was that the Lomaiviti Princess IV would also be carrying vehicles.
This he said would make business between Labasa and Taveuni easier.
According to Mr Goundar there will be a change in the company’s shipping schedule with the arrival of the Lomaiviti Princess IV.
For Koro it will be serviced by the Lomaiviti Princess II every Monday.
His other vessels will service Savusavu and Suva route -three trips in a week.
For the bus service, Mr Goundar has signed a five year contract with Vishnu Holdings Limited, Labasa.