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How to prepare for the 2017/18 cruise season

17 Aug 2017


Wellington’s cruise season is upon us again and our first ship, Radiance of the Seas, is due to arrive on Wednesday 4 October. We’re expecting 81 cruise ships, bringing with them an estimated 170,000 passengers and 70,000 crew ready to explore our region and spend their holiday cash.

We’ve put together a few tips to help you and your business prepare for the upcoming cruise season.

Stay informed

Register to receive the Cruise Day Brief from Wellington i-Site for regular updates on incoming ships, schedule changes and cancellations.

Inclusion on this list means you’ll also be sent the Cruise Day Brief before each arrival. These briefs include information such as the ship name, passenger numbers, crew numbers, arrival and departure times, shuttle stop locations and any other information which may have an impact on the day such as special events or road closures.

To register for this mailing list please contact Sam Woodside.

Know the cruise schedule

While the Cruise Day Brief provides information specific to each cruise day, it pays to be aware of the dates and times for all ships arriving during the season. You can download the full Cruise Schedule on the Centreport website.

It’s also a good idea to be aware of ships arriving or departing earlier or later than usual to anticipate staffing levels and consider your opening hours. Cruise ships are typically in port between 8am - 6pm.

Staff up on peak days

There are several days when two ships are visiting - double the action! It’s worthwhile making a note of these for staffing levels. Most visitors enjoy a mix of shopping and touring on their day in the city, so it’s good to be prepared.

The largest ship visiting is the Ovation of the Seas bringing in 4,905 passengers and 1,500 crew so it’s certainly worth preparing well for this.

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Be passenger friendly... and don’t forget the crew

Passengers love to be welcomed and feel special. Draw their attention by creating signs for your shop window that encourage passengers to come inside. A simple sign such as “welcome to passengers from Radiance of the Seas” is all that’s needed.

Willingness to arrange postage, accept foreign currency, offer a special discount or small gift to cruise passengers are also great ways to entice them in.

Don’t forget the crew - they have less time ashore than the passengers and use it carefully. Often ships will return to Wellington multiple times through the season and the crew will return to places they’ve previously enjoyed. Your store or restaurant could become a regular favourite.

Wellington City Ambassadors

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This team of 130 passionate Wellingtonians volunteer their time providing a warm welcome, directions and suggestions to our visitors on how to spend their time in the city. Ambassadors are some of the first to greet the passengers as they disembark their ship and are great advocates for the city and strong supporters of our local businesses.

Get to know the ambassadors when they are out and about on a cruise day, and find out more about what they do.

Contact the Wellington i-SITE for more information about our Wellington City Ambassadors or for more cruise information.

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