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2 Oct 2015
An extra 30,000 cruise ship passengers are expected to hit the Capital this summer, in a bumper season, which will bring tens of millions of dollars to the region.
Cruise New Zealand estimates over 230,000 passengers and crew will contribute $65.7 million to the local economy over summer 2015/16.
The season kicks off this Saturday (3 October) with the arrival of the Diamond Princess, a 116,000-tonne ship carrying 2700 passengers and 1100 crew. Among its features the ship lists four swimming pools, eight spa pools, a nightclub and a wedding chapel.
The ship is the first of 76 booked to dock at Wellington port CentrePort this summer.
The cruise industry continues to grow in the capital with larger ships and higher visitor numbers year-on-year.
Fifteen years ago the largest ship was 22,120-tonnes. Next season (2017) will see the 168,000-tonne Ovation of the Seas pull into the capital. This will be the largest cruise ship ever to visit New Zealand.
The visit is currently scheduled to coincide with two other cruise calls bringing more than 8,000 people into the city.
CentrePort Chief Executive Blair O’Keeffe said “Each year we are now seeing more cruise passengers in the city than visited here over the entire Rugby World Cup.”
“Wellington offers some of the best facilities for cruise in the country. This includes a dedicated cruise terminal, berthing facilities for multiple large cruise ships and close proximity to the CBD” he said.
“We are very focussed on ensuring the city maintains its position as one of the country’s leading cruise destinations”.
Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency (WREDA) Chief Executive Chris Whelan said the increase in cruise ship passengers would set up a super summer in the city.
“The cruise ship season adds to the region’s vitality as well as its economy,” he said,
“Shore excursion products such as the Cable Car, Zealandia and Weta Workshop tours will be in hot demand, and the retail and hospitality sectors in our walkable CBD can expect a busy time. Additionally, with day trips to excellent local food, wines and cultural attractions easily accessible, the cruise market also represents a growing regional asset.”
First ship arrives: Sat 3 Oct
Last Ship departs: April 23
Total ship visits: 76
Double days (two ships in port): 12
Estimated passenger numbers: 171,300*
Estimated value added: $65.7 million*
*Source: Cruise New Zealand