|Cruise Ship Business Buoyant|
|Wednesday, 14 April 2010 12:00|
CentrePort’s cruise ship business is on the up and up. The 2009/2010 season finished in early April and already there are indications that next season, which starts in October, will see a record number of 60 cruise ship calls at Wellington. Even higher numbers are expected in 2011/2112.
The economic benefit to the region is estimated at more than $30 million.
A total of 46 vessels called at the port in 2009/10. That figure was down on the previous year with one cruise line taking the decision not to base a ship in Australasian waters for the season. Despite that fact, total passenger and crew numbers were on a par with the previous year – reflecting the fact that cruise ships are getting ever bigger.
CentrePort Chief Executive Blair O’Keeffe said today cruise operators widely regard Wellington as having the best facilities for cruise ships in New Zealand.
Julian Barton of the Auckland-based tour operator Pacific Journeys, points out that CentrePort was the first port in New Zealand to build a dedicated cruise ship terminal. He says “Wellington shows the way to other ports. The Aotea Quay cruise terminal is both practical and functional while providing a warm welcome to all visitors.”
Blair O’Keeffe said that this season the port had worked closely with Positively Wellington Tourism and the Wellington City Council to continue to develop the Wellington region as a cruise friendly destination. One initiative that has been well received by cruise passengers this year is the provision of a shuttle bus that connects CentrePort’s cruise terminal with Lambton Quay and the city’s i-site.
Among the vessels expected next season will be Cunard’s new ocean liner the ‘Queen Elizabeth” – now under construction in Italy.