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Oleander arrives from China

MV Oleander (Photograph supplied)

Boats and wellwishers turned out yesterday to greet a new cargo ship designed to improve the shipping service to Bermuda.

The MV Oleander, a custom-built container ship, arrived in Hamilton Harbour from its builders in China with her horn blowing.

Neptune Group Ltd, the operators of Bermuda Container Line Ltd, described the occasion as “very special”.

Barry Brewer, its president and chief executive, said: “We had about a dozen boats escorting us and lots of people in Albuoy’s Point.

“It was absolutely perfect.”

He added: “We’ve been at this for three years with the design, planning and building.

“It was 12,000 miles from China to get here — to pull into Hamilton with a ship that’s owned by over 500 Bermudians, started by the importers, for the importers — it was a very special day.”

The ship will replace the Oleander, now renamed the Oleander III and sold, which has served Bermuda for 29 years.

The pair are expected to pass on Monday as the new vessel begins service.

The new ship is larger than its predecessor, able to carry more cargo and will weather rough seas better. The MV Oleander has an extended cargo area that has three times the below decks cargo capacity of the old ship.

It was designed to give more protected inside stowage for cars, trucks, buses, boats, trailers, machinery and other high-value equipment.

The new Oleander can also carry up to 456 twenty-foot containers, including 75 refrigerated containers.

The ship is in line with the latest environmental emission regulations and ballast water treatment standards.

It is as fast as the ship it will replace, but more fuel efficient at higher speeds.