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New boats signal confidence in visitor industry


media release 9 October 2008

New boats signal confidence in visitor industry

Purpose built boats worth $350,000 being launched in Akaroa by Black Cat Cruises next Friday 17 October represent a vote of confidence in the future of the tourism industry in the region.

“Dolphin swimming and wildlife cruises bring thousands of visitors into our region every year,” Black Cat Cruises Managing Director Paul Bingham said.

“It is vital we can provide a world class experience that matches, and hopefully exceeds expectations. The new boats will mean we are even better placed to do that.”

The two boats – named Black Pearl and Black Knight - are purpose built; include several features that are a first for Osprey, the manufacturer of the dolphin swimming boats. They are being officially being launched by Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker.

“We have worked hard with the boat builders to design a boat with features that will really add value to the experience – sometimes it’s the little things that really count.”

Bingham said the extra features include quieter engines, a full hard top roof with roll up windows – first of its kind for manufactures’ Osprey -   larger windows and a warm water hose for before and after swimming.

“We looked at a few options 12 months ago and decided that building to our specifications was the best way forward.”

The company also introduced a world first dolphin swimming experience, the use of dry suits, during the winter months.

Dry suits mean swimmers can keep their normal clothes on under the dry suit when they enter the water.

Black Cat Cruises has also completed a full refurbishment of its Dolphin Swimming office on Beach Road in Akaroa.

“We are always looking at ways to improve the visitors’ experience, and the introduction of the dry suits combined with the new boats and the office refurbishment means we are very optimistic and enthusiastic about the coming summer season,” Bingham said.

“We hope the local community will join us to celebrate the launching of the boats – every visitor that comes to swim or cruise with us spends money in other areas of the town.”

The new boats will be officially launched by Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker at 10.30am on the Main Wharf in Akaroa on Friday 17 October. 

Black Cat Cruises has been operating for 22 years and is a former winner of the Supreme tourism award and is the largest tourism operator on Banks Peninsula.


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