A Bluebridge ferry is being removed from service for urgent repairs because of a gearbox fault.
StraitNZ said the ferry, which operates a service to Cook Strait between Wellington and Picton, would be out of action from this evening and for the rest of the week while the work was done.
Commercial general manager Ed Menzies said it was a huge inconvenience for holidaymakers.
"We are doing everything we can to re-accommodate our freight customers and passengers as quickly as possible," he said.
However, he said this type of problem could happen.
"We apologise for this but unfortunately, with large vessels, sometimes this type of engineering issue can occur," he said.
RNZ has requested more information about when the fault was discovered.