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Diamond Princess arrives in Lyttelton

News release
December 18, 2008

Diamond Princess arrives in Lyttelton

One of the world's largest cruise ships, the Diamond Princess arrives at the Port of Lyttelton on Sunday.

The 116,000 tonne Diamond Princess carries about 2700 passengers and 1100 crew and boasts five pools, eight jacuzzis, 10 restaurants and cafes, a wedding chapel, a mini golf course, 13 bars and lounges, two nightclubs including one overhanging the ship, a luxury spa sanctuary and 1337 cabins - 750 of them with their own private balcony.

It is due to call at Lyttelton six times between now and February as the cruise season moves into full swing. In all 81 ship arrivals carrying more than 150,000 passengers and crew will dock at Canterbury ports this cruise season; 60 will call at Lyttelton, 12 at Akaroa, eight at Kaikoura and one in Timaru.

Experts predict the passengers aboard those luxury ships will pump more than $22.7 million into the local economy and sustain the employment equivalent of 335 workers in the Canterbury region for a year.

"The Diamond Princess is a sight to behold and the fact she's coming here six times over the next few months is a reflection of how our popularity as a cruise destination is growing," says Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism chief executive Christine Prince.

The Diamond Princess, owned by the Carnival Line, took three million hours to build and stretches 63 metres tall and almost 49 metres wide. If tipped on her stern, the 290 metre-long ship would be 100 metres taller than the observation deck of Auckland's Skytower.

With a space-age bridge and jet-engine-style pods on her funnel, it is one of the world's most environmentally friendly liners and is powered by a dual diesel and gas propulsion system.

"Each season we are seeing more and bigger ships calling at Lyttelton. The growth will inevitably plateau but already we've got 51 ships pre-booked for the 2009/2010 season," says Ms Prince.

"Our challenge is to ensure those passengers who disembark have such a fabulous time in Christchurch & Canterbury that they decide to come back for more."

ENDS

Diamond Princess arrives at 6.45am on Sunday 21 December to dock at Cashin Quay.

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