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NOTE: WATERWAYS IN THIS CONTEXT RELATES TO ‘INTERISLAND SEA TRAVEL’

 

Domestic shipping services

There is one domestic shipping service, the government-owned Friendly Islands Shipping Agency (FISA) operates inter-island shipping services, including the ferry service, on a commercial basis.

Due to the isolated nature and relatively small size and population of a number of the Kingdom’s islands, internal (interisland) waterways form a vital part of Tonga’s supply chain. Many of the smaller islands have neither docking capability for larger vessels nor airstrips, making them reliant on supply by small boats for commerce, social, educational and medical needs.

There are a number of smaller, private operators transporting small cargo and providing water taxi and charter services.

Services are weather effected and may be cancelled due to windy / rough water conditions, particularly during the cyclone season (November – April).

The Government has stated its highest priority for the Maritime sector is increasing the safety and resilience of all maritime activities, especially in relation to inter-island shipping, there is currently no budget or timelines set for any significant developments.

Company Information

The one domestic shipping company operating is the government owned Friendly Islands Shipping Agency

There appears to be adequate cargo and passenger capacity at present and no immediate plans to expand services in the region.

Maintenance and safety issues have arisen in the past with reported ferry groundings. The most notable incident was the sinking of the inter-island ferry the MV Princess Ashika that sank in 2009 with the loss of 74 persons. Despite Tongan Ministry of Transport surveyor’s claims they considered the vessel to be totally unseaworthy, they failed to stop operations of the vessel

 

For information on Tonga Waterways contact details, please see the following links:

4.4 Tonga Port and Waterways Company Contact List

4.1 Tonga Government Contact List

 

Friendly Islands Shipping Company

(FISA)

Number of

Passenger Vessels

< 20 Passengers

0

Number of

Passenger Vessels

< 50 Passengers

0

Number of

Passenger Vessels

< 100 Passengers

0

Number of

Passenger Vessels

> 100 Passengers

1 (400 passengers)

 

Friendly Islands Shipping Company (FISA)

Number of Boats

2

Tonnage / Volume

Carrying Capacity (MT / m3)

1 x 520  (plus 400 passengers)

1 x 241

=761 MT total

Number of Barges

None

Tonnage / Volume

Carrying Capacity (MT / m3)

n/a

Number of Tugs

None

Tonnage / Volume

Carrying Capacity (MT / m3)

n/a

Travel Time Matrix 

The travel times below are taken using the MV  ‘Otuanga’ofa. (400 passenger Ferryboat)

Time in Hours

Nuku’alofa

Nomuka

Ha’afeva

Pangai

Neiafu

Nuku’alofa

 

5

7

9.5

16.5

Nomuka

5

 

2

4.5

11.5

Ha’afeva

7

2

 

2.5

9.5

 Pangai

9.5

4.5

2.5

 

7

Neiafu

16.5

11.5

9.5

7

 

 

Key Routes 

NOTE: THIS TABLE RELATES TO RIVER TRANSPORT AND IS NOT RELEVANT TO THE TONGA LCA. THERE IS NO TRANSPORT BY RIVER WATERWAYS

 

Key Route Information

Domestic / International

 

From:

To:

From:

To:

From:

To:

Total Distance (km)

   

Width (m)

Broadest:
Narrowest:

Broadest:
Narrowest:

Broadest:
Narrowest:

River Flow

(m³ / second)

   

Seasonal Effects

   

Maximum Weight and

Size of Vessels

   

Regular Traffic

Passenger / Cargo

   

Companies Operating

Along the Route

   

Security Concerns

Yes / No

Yes / No

Yes / No

Main Ports

   

Port Information

Key Port Information

 

Port Name

Port Name

Port Name

Location

Nuku’alofa

Neiafu

Pangai

Contact Information

   

Connections with Other

Transport Means

21 km by road to Fua’amotu International Airport

10 km by road to Lupepauʻu Airport

10 km to Lifuka Airport

Storage Capacity (m2 and m3)

 

 

 

Handling Equipment

   

Customs Clearance Available

Yes / No

Yes / No

Yes / No

Other Comments

Further detail available on ports available under sections 2.1 – 2.1.3