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NZ Cruise Season

Cruise season to bring tourist boom to New Zealand

Oct 13, 2009

This Friday's visit of Star Princess to Auckland will mark the opening of a bumper New Zealand cruise season, with a record 52,000 passengers sailing on ships operated by Carnival New Zealand, the nation's largest cruise operator.

Over the next six months, 11 ships from the Carnival New Zealand fleet will make a total 158 port visits around the country. The figure is up 50 per cent on last year's season and is three times the number of visits made just five years ago.

With each visit contributing around $500,000 through port fees, stores and passenger spending, Kiwi businesses are set to reap around $80 million in direct expenditure between October 2009 and March 2010.

Season highlights include visits from two of the largest and most famous ocean liners in the world, Cunard's 151,400-tonne Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria, and the first visits to New Zealand of the world's newest luxury cruise ships, the elegant Seabourn Odyssey, and P&O Cruises' Arcadia as part of their world cruise voyages.

Akaroa and Gisborne are back on the schedule this season, having not had visits since the 2003/04 and 2005/06 seasons respectively.

Carnival Australia and New Zealand CEO Ann Sherry said as well as the direct economic injection from cruise ships the season would provide an ideal opportunity for New Zealand tourism operators to showcase their wares while many are still grappling with the effects of the economic downturn.

"We think it will be a very exciting season, not only for passengers at sea but also for spectators on land, as there'll be a continual parade of ships through New Zealand ports. "Each port visit is a chance for businesses to generate some excitement amongst their local communities, expose their products to new audiences, sell themselves as destinations in their own right and entice passengers back for a longer and closer look.

"The rapid growth in cruising has also provided extra opportunities for technical staff, senior officers and security personnel that we recruit from New Zealand," Ms Sherry said.

Ms Sherry added that despite tougher economic conditions, the Carnival business had continued to expand as more and more New Zealanders and Australians grew to appreciate the great value of a cruising holiday, with travel, accommodation, meals and entertainment included in the one fare, but that industry growth required wider support.

"The challenge for New Zealand destinations is to ensure they put in place the infrastructure, and provide the experience, that will make our passengers want to return," Ms Sherry said.

Cruise season to bring tourist boom to New Zealand
Cruise ship at the Auckland Harbour / Image via


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