NORTHERN Australia shipping specialist SeaSwift is to receive a new vessel in October.

The purpose-built Newcastle Bay II is due to arrive at Cairns in October after successful sea trials in Indonesia.

SeaSwift expects the vessel to enter service following its arrival in Queensland.

The company said Newcastle Bay II will be deployed to meet schedules between Cairns, Horn Island, and Weipa. It is also to play a role in ensuring food and essential deliveries reach the Outer Torres Strait Islands.

Sea Swift chief executive officer Dwayne Freeman said the arrival of the Newcastle Bay II would be a momentous occasion for Sea Swift and the entire Northern Australia community.

“This vessel represents our commitment to improving cargo capacity and connectivity across the region,” Mr Freeman said.

Newcastle Bay II measures just shy of 100 meters in length and is capable of reaching a maximum speed of 16 knots.

“This vessel is a game-changer for our communities,” Mr Freeman said.

“It will significantly increase our cargo capacity, especially during Northern Queensland’s wet season, and also offer passenger accommodation.”

Mr Freeman said the journey to launching the Newcastle Bay II was not without its challenges.

“We’ve encountered hurdles, including the impact of Covid-19, labour and skills shortages, and adverse weather conditions. However, these challenges have only fuelled our determination to see this project through,” he said.

“… In fact, [Newcastle Bay II is] more than just a vessel – it represents Sea Swift’s identity and is a critical addition to our business.”