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Record cruise season for Ports of Auckland

Wednesday 16 November 2005

Record cruise season for Ports of Auckland

The arrival of Pacific Princess today heralds the start of the biggest cruise season ever for the Port of Auckland. The port will host 48 cruise ship visits to the City of Sails during the 2005-6 season – up from 31 visits in the previous season.

Ports of Auckland General Manager Port Services Will Harvey, says: “It’s great to see Auckland chosen as a port of call by so many cruise lines. Our Marine Services team is more than up to the challenge of handling the nearly 90,000 tourists that will be embarking or disembarking from these vessels.

“We have put a lot of work into ensuring we provide world-class service to the growing number of cruise ships coming to Auckland. The effort has paid off as Auckland is now considered a benchmark cruise port in the world.”

The mega-cruise season is good news for the city as passengers will spend a predicted $20 million in shops, restaurants and other retail outlets, in addition to shore excursions and hotel accommodation used for passenger exchanges.

Ports of Auckland cruise team

Ports of Auckland’s Marine Services team operates the Overseas Passenger Terminal on Princes Wharf, downtown Auckland.

Marine Operations Supervisor Leigh Rusbridge, says: “Each cruise ship visit has its own challenges. Auckland is a passenger exchange port (cruises start or finish here). The mega-liners, such as Diamond Princess, have exchanges of up to 5,800 passengers – the equivalent of 15 jumbo jets arriving at the same time! This presents the logistical challenge of achieving the smooth flow of passengers - 1,000 passengers are processed an hour - while maintaining a controlled environment in the Passenger Terminal.

“Excellent advance planning, continuous improvements in operational procedures and a good working relationship with NZ Customs, MAF, cruise ship agencies and the businesses on Princes Wharf ensure each cruise ship visit is a success for all,” she says.

Highlights of the 2005-06 season

The giant five-star Diamond Princess makes the first of five calls to Auckland on 20 January. Weighing in at 116,000 Gross Registered Tonnes and 290 metres long, Diamond Princess is the twin of Sapphire Princess, which visited Auckland during the 2004-05 season.

In addition to Diamond Princess, there will be three other maiden callers at Auckland. First to arrive will be the stately Statendam on 22 December, then the new-look, child-free Artemis makes her maiden call at Auckland during her 110-day world cruise on 4 January. The new-build, boutique cruise ship Oceanic Princess, makes the first of three visits to Auckland on 25 January.

The boutique-style 5,200-tonne Clipper Odyssey will make five cruises around the New Zealand coast, calling at Auckland on 10 and 24 December, 11 and 30 January and 17 February. Other boutique callers are the four-star Discovery and Seabourn Spirit, which carries just 208 passengers, each with their own suite.

There will be eight winter Pacific Island cruises by Pacific Star ex-Auckland from May to August.

Value to Auckland and New Zealand

The majority of cruises either start or finish in Auckland, therefore the city captures the lion’s share of the economic benefit of the New Zealand cruise industry activity.

A report by Market Economics Limited for Cruise New Zealand predicts that the direct spend by the cruise ship industry (excluding airfares and ship fuel) in Auckland for the upcoming season will be $51 million ($104m for all of NZ), up from $33 million ($62m/NZ) for 2004-05. This will generate $104 million ($252m/NZ) of economic activity. Of this, $46 million ($114m/NZ) will be contributed to GDP as compared to $29m ($68m/NZ) for 2004-05. This will sustain 752 (1,870/NZ) Full Time Equivalent (FTE) jobs, up from 477 (1,130/NZ) FTEs for 2004-05.

The 90,000 cruise passengers visiting Auckland this season will spend nearly $20 million in shops, restaurants and other retail outlets while on shore excursions or during free time spent ashore. This compares to $11 million ($21m/NZ) for 2004-05. The ship crews will spend an additional $700,000 in Auckland ($455,000 for 2004-05).

By 2010, it is forecast that there will be 17 million cruise ship passengers worldwide a year. This compared to 12 million for 2002-03.


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