The MV Ta’ Pinu ferry will be back in service tomorrow following a three-week routine dry-dock at Palumbo Malta Shipyard.
The shipyard said that 70 workers dedicated their energies to overhauling the underwater area using special high-pressure hydro-blasting, repainting the vessel, and carrying out the necessary repairs.
There has been a complete modernisation of the ferry’s restrooms, as well as the treatment to the garage deck area that can handle a maximum of 158 vehicles.
All now completed in time to handle next week’s carnival traffic between the two islands.
Joseph Calleja the Palumbo general manager, said the shipyard’s team worked hand in hand with the ship’s captain Joseph Vella and crew to ensure a quick turnaround of the works.
“Our ships normally enter the dock for routine works during the quiet months, but Gozo has become so popular that these days we need three boats all the time, even in January,” said Gozo Channel engineering manager Sammy Grech.
Referring to recent figures issued by the NSO, he said that the number of passengers and vehicles crossing from Malta to Gozo continued to rise, reaching 5.4 million and 1.5 million respectively in 2017, up from 4.7 million and 1.3 million just two years ago.
“Gozo Channel was bracing itself for another spike in crossings and the three ferries would be operating a shuttle service to keep up with the number of people visiting Gozo for carnival weekend,” said Mr Grech.