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Important information regarding changes to the cruise shuttle locations in Wellington for the 2018/19 cruise season.
With a record number of cruise ship passengers expected this summer, the number of shuttle stops will be doubled to better spread visitors across the city.
The first ship of the season, the Radiance of the Seas, is due to arrive on October 2. This year an extra 50,000 passengers are expected in the city, bringing the total to 228,000 passengers plus 96,000 crew.
More than 110 ships will berth over the three-month period, injecting $56 million into the economy.
It represents a huge jump from ten years ago, when just 72,000 passengers and 30,000 crew arrived in Wellington, and illustrates the region’s growing reputation as one of Australasia’s most welcoming cruise destinations.
On more than a dozen days of the season, 5000-plus passengers will be in Wellington as multiple ships visit at the same time.
The increase in cruise arrivals, plus the bigger ships that are now plying the waters, means the current shuttle system for visitors is no longer adequate.
For example, the largest ship – the Ovation of the Sea – requires at least 25 shuttles alone meaning a single drop off/pick-up location is no longer possible.
Changes to Wellington’s bus service have also increased commuter services on Brandon Street, where the stop has been located.
To spread the increased number of visitors across the city and reduce footpath congestion on peak days, the Brandon Street stop will be replaced by two new stops on Lambton Quay and Wakefield Street.
Q + A
Where is the current stop, and where exactly will the new stops be?
At the moment all cruise passengers have been dropped off and picked up on Brandon Street. This stop is no longer available. On double days, and for ships over 2000 passengers, two locations will be used. The first is located at the North end of Lambton Quay outside the Old Government Buildings, across from the Beehive. The second will utilise the tour coach stop on Wakefield Street, near the bottom of Cuba Street. Shuttles will stop at both locations for pick-ups and drop-offs. On days where there's less than 2000 passengers, one or two stops can be used.
When will the changes be introduced?
The Traffic Management Plan has been approved and the new system will be in place from the beginning of the cruise season.
Why can’t the one-stop system stay?
Passenger numbers have increased greatly since it was introduced and it’s no longer suitable for several reasons. More passengers mean more shuttle movements and there is not one Wellington location that is suitable to safely load and unload all the passengers on peak days. Concerns have also been raised about congestion at the single stop and moving to two stops will ease this. Finally, since the Kaikoura earthquake in 2016 shuttle movements have increased as passengers are no longer able to safely walk off Centreport.
Where can I get more information?
For maps showing the location of the new stops, please see below. A great way to stay up-to-date on cruise happenings such as arrangements for each ship and cancellation notifications is to sign up for our Cruise Day brief. Email [email protected] to have your details added.
You can check Centreport’s cruise schedule here and find more details about the ships visiting New Zealand here.
New cruise shuttle stops