Update 55

John Duigan starts next week

Bass Island Line (BIL) this week announced that its new vessel John Duigan will officially come into service on Friday 4 May.

The announcement, which was made to the community via the King Island Courier, also included confirmation of the schedule for the new service. The new service will operate between Geelong in Victoria, Grassy on King Island and mainland Tasmania.

BIL was also pleased to confirm this week that while the mainland Tasmanian port for service start-up will be Bell Bay, the intention is for Burnie to be the dedicated port for the service in the medium term.

The move to Burnie is pending the finalisation of port infrastructure arrangements. The timing of the move to Burnie will be announced in due course.

Today John Duigan sailed from the Southern Marine ShipLift yard at Invermay to Bell Bay after completing all final modifications (see image below).

Image: John Duigan leaving Invermay today.

BIL expects John Duigan to sail from Bell Bay for Grassy next week on a sea trial and to test facilities at Grassy. So if you see the vessel in port you know why it is there!

The intention is for John Duigan to head back to Tasmania where it will collect transshipment cargo ahead of going into service.

The Investigator II will finish its service on Thursday 3 May after having completed almost 300 voyages and delivered more than 6000 TEUs and 22,000 head of cattle, which amounts to more than 70,000 tonnes of cargo.

John Duigan will operate with a weekly schedule which will see it depart Geelong on Sunday, depart Grassy on Monday and depart Bell Bay on Wednesday for Geelong.

Image: John Duigan at Bell Bay today.

The vessel has been tailored to King Island’s freight needs. It has also been purchased outright and belongs to BIL. This will provide greater continuity of service because it cannot be recalled by the owners as can happen with a boat that is chartered.

BIL encourages customers to make bookings by calling 1300 038 228.

The schedule

The next three sailings are as follows:

  • Friday 27 April: General sailing – Depart Devonport 1:30pm
  • Saturday 28 April: General sailing- Depart Grassy 1:30pm
  • Sunday 29 April: General sailing – Depart Devonport 1:30pm

Update 55 full PDF available here.