Bluebridge sails to new Gold rating

Bluebridge Cook Strait Ferries has sailed to a new Qualmark Gold Sustainable Award rating, the highest accolade for tourism operators.

Bluebridge Cook Strait Ferries has sailed to a new Qualmark Gold Sustainable Award rating, the highest accolade for tourism operators.

A Qualmark licence holder since 2012 (under the Visitor Transport Operator category), Bluebridge originally attained a Silver Enviro Award.  The new top tier status was awarded this month, following a period of growth and improvements.

Over recent years, the company has grown considerably and now operates more than 30 sailings a week with its fleet accommodating up to 400 passengers each trip.  Conscious of the environmental toll of its sailings, Bluebridge evolved to incorporate sustainability into every part of its business.

Qualmark Tourism Business Advisor Gregg Anderson completed the assessment and says he was impressed by Bluebridge’s comprehensive approach to sustainability across all areas of its business.


“Bluebridge demonstrated outstanding commitment to all environmental aspects of the Qualmark Sustainable Evaluation, and also consistently scored highly in areas addressing economic, people, and health and safety processes covered in the evaluation.  The company had made numerous process improvements resulting from research seeking to improve the customer experience from booking through to disembarking, a real commitment to team development, a strong focus on safety in the workplace and the overall welfare of team members.”

Head of Marketing and Communications for Bluebridge Cook Strait Ferries Mischa Mannix-Opie says the new Qualmark status is recognition of the significant improvements being made under a customer and growth-focused new strategy.

"We’re delighted to have received this new rating that shows we’re elevating our customer experience and improving practices across all areas of our passenger service."

Ms Mannix-Opie says the award takes into account the broad variety of activity underway including new customer benefits, such as the introduction of their partnership with Air New Zealand Airpoints, best practice health and safety initiatives, customer insights research, enhanced on-board experiences and a brand evolution.