Christening held on Rota
The M/V Luta is expected to arrive on Saipan today after a christening celebration held on Rota last Saturday.
Gathering for the celebration were Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, Lt. Gov. Victor Hocog, members of the Cabinet, and other government officials.
As part of the ceremony, the 150-foot long, 500-ton cargo ship was blessed by Fr. Ike Ayuyu.
The flags of the U.S and the CNMI were hoisted by Torres and Rota Mayor Efraim Atalig.
Torres encouraged the public to support the investment made for M/V Luta.
“M/V Luta Mermaid is a perfect example of local and foreign investor partnership. My administration encourages and supports the local investors, and we should all support these types of investor partnerships. It took sweat, hard work, and sacrifice to realize the M/V Luta today,” Torres said.
The ship is expected to arrive on Saipan where an open house will be held this morning, after it left Rota last night.
M/V Luta arrived on Rota Thursday morning after leaving Panama.
It is a retrofitted passenger and cargo vessel, which originally came from Louisiana, and can accommodate about 20 passengers and can carry up to 28 20-foot containers.
The arrival of MV Luta has been pushed back for several months since it was said to set sail last April due to certification requirements and modifications made to the ship.
Japanese businessman Takahisa Yamamoto invested about $1.6 million in the ship in September 2014. It will bring passengers, agricultural goods, and other consumer items to and from Rota, Saipan, Tinian, the Northern Islands, and Guam.
Yamamoto, from Osaka, Japan, owns Luta Mermaid LLC, the main business of which is to operate M/V Luta.