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Auckland hosts NZ's Winter Cruise Season

Friday 26 May 2006

Auckland hosts New Zealand’s Winter Cruise Season

New Zealand’s third winter cruise season will kick off on Saturday 27 May with the first of eight visits to Auckland over the winter months, up from six in the 2005 winter cruise season.

Auckland is the only city in New Zealand to host a winter cruise season, a recent phenomenon in the world cruise season calendar.

“Ports of Auckland is very supportive of the winter cruise season and actively promotes it,” says Will Harvey, Ports of Auckland General Manager Port Services.

“Our Marine Services team operates the Overseas Passenger Terminal for cruise ships on Princes Wharf. The team has invested a great deal of time and resources in planning and operational procedures to ensure that each cruise ship visit is a success for all,” said Mr Harvey.

Ports of Auckland hosted New Zealand’s first winter cruise season in 2004, with four calls from P&O Cruises’ Pacific Sky. The season’s popularity is growing steadily with the number of visits in 2006 double that of the first season in 2004.

P&O Cruises’ New Zealand manager Shannon Currie said: “Cruising up to the Islands during winter is becoming popular with New Zealanders who want a winter escape, particularly mid-winter when demand is high for Pacific Island flights and accommodation. This year, for the first time, we have cruises available during the winter school holiday period.”

Mr Currie said P&O Cruises are planning to increase capacity for the winter cruise season from Auckland in 2007.

P&O Cruises’ Pacific Star will follow her visit Saturday with visits on 9 June, 20 June, 1 July, 11 July, 22 July, and 30 July, with the final call for the winter season on 11 August. The 35,000-tonne vessel, which recently underwent a US$30 million refurbishment, will call at Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, and the Loyalty Islands during its eight voyages from Auckland.

By the end of the full 2005-06 cruise season (includes the summer and winter seasons), Ports of Auckland’s Marine Services team will have handled over 90,000 passengers and crew (and their large volume of luggage, approximately 180,000+ pieces) during 48 visits by 20 ships.

Mr Harvey says the cruise industry is important to Auckland’s city and regional economy, with passengers spending about $150 each for every day they are in port. This is on top of shore excursions and hotels.

The outlook for the 2006-2007 cruise season is excellent, commencing with a call from The World on 25 October 2006. The city of sails is then set to host eight winter Pacific Island cruises by P&O Cruises’ Pacific Star ex-Auckland from May to August 2007.


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