Robben Island in Table Bay. File pic/EX-QDMS

The Robben Island Museum has a new ferry. 

Named after the first recorded female political prisoner on Robben Island, Krotoa, the new ferry arrived on July 12 and increases passenger carrying capacity to the island by 270 visitors.

Ellerick Olckers, Visitor Operations specialist at Robben Island Museum says it was important that they increase capacity before the summer tourist season.

“It is of critical importance that we prepare for peak periods months in advance. We would like to proactively prepare to avoid situations where we are caught on the back foot that may detract from visitors’ experience of the Island,” said Olckers. 

More about the ferry

Krotoa, a catamaran passenger ferry with a passenger capacity of 285, was designed by Incat Crowther and built by Penguin Shipyards. 

The catamaran was built to Bureau Veritas Classification standards and is fully High Speed Craft (HSC) code compliant. 

She has a gross tonnage of 319 tons a speed of 28.5 knots at a 100 percent load. 

She is expected to undertake her maiden journey once full marine processes have been finalised and cleared by the governing marine authority, South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA).

However, it's not been plain sailing for Robben Island Museum when it comes to its ferries.

Last year it was reported the museum had a heavy reliance on the hiring of private boats and "spent more than R44-million on rentals in one financial year".

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Last year it was reported that "an amount of R3.3-million was spent on repairs (to the ferry) in the 2012/2013 financial year....The 300-seater Sikhululekile ferry has not made the trip across Table Bay since December 2012."