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A ‘radiant’ start to New Zealand’s 2014-15 cruise season

October 8, 2014 Cruise No Comments Email Email

New Zealand’s cruise ship season continues to extend, with Radiance of the Seas arrival in Wellington today (7 October 2014) marking the start of the 2014-15 cruise season.

The summer cruise season will be bookended by Oceania Cruises Insignia, which sails into Auckland on 25 May 2015. Winter cruises out of Auckland to the Pacific Islands will extend the season into early June, before round-the-world voyages sail back to Australia in late August.

An economic report released by Cruise New Zealand last week shows cruise ships are expected to make 124 voyages around New Zealand in 2014-15, spending 712 days at ports throughout the country.

The main cruise ports and emerging cruise destinations like Nelson, Kaikoura and Stewart Island are all expected to reap the cruise sector’s spread of wealth throughout New Zealand, says Cruise New Zealand General Manager Raewyn Tan.

“The cruise sector has been forecast to contribute $373.4 million to the New Zealand economy in 2014-15 and support almost 7000 jobs. Half of the voyages will take place in January and February, and regions like Auckland, Tauranga, Akaroa and Fiordland will have a number of three-ship days to manage.”

Ms Tan says the cruise economic footprint in New Zealand should not to be underestimated.

“Places like Whangarei have dry-docking facilities for small vessels such as the Oceanic Discoverer. Luxury cruise lines organise world events here, like the one taking place at Hobbiton in Matamata in February. The economy also benefits from ships reprovisioning when they start and end a voyage in Auckland. Overland excursions to places like Queenstown and overnight stays in select ports also generate wealth into regional economies.”

Ms Tan says it is vital New Zealand ensures the sustainability of cruise ship tourism, including infrastructure that can safely accommodate and efficiently process the larger, next generation of ships, as well as sensible regulations that not only protect the wellbeing of New Zealanders, but also ensure New Zealand’s economic wealth is enduring.

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