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Woes from Sea Princess breakdown flow across Tasman

October 7, 2014 Cruise, Headline News 1 Comment Email Email

egtmedia59Over 1800 passengers due to sail to New Zealand aboard Sea Princess were told last week that their trip had been cancelled because of technical difficulties. The cancellation has also hit tourism operators in New Zealand.

Media had a field day with the news, some using the term ‘Seasick Princess’ in reference to a gastro outbreak that struck the ship some time ago. Carnival Australia offered all passengers a full refund and a 100% future cruise credit after the breakdown, but not all passengers were satisfied, with one writing on social media: “Compensated financially, YES, compensated for months of planning, saving, hoping, sharing, packing and having something great to look forward to….NO.”

The problems have flowed on to New Zealand, where the Sea Princess visit was billed as the start of the cruise season to Canterbury.

Christchurch relies on cruise ship visits to help revive its earthquake-struck tourism industry. Elsewhere as well, cruise is a major deal for New Zealand. If cruise was a country, it would be New Zealand’s fourth-largest inbound market, behind Australia, China and the US.

Sea Princess was due to call into Akaroa Harbour in the South Island today – until  the cancellation.

Christchurch-based independent tour operator Robin McCarthy told the Christchurch Press newspaper that cruise ships had helped save his business after the 2011 earthquakes.

The no-show by the Sea Princess and its potential 1850 passengers would affect his Christchurch Tours minivan-touring operation, which takes visitors from Akaroa on guided visits around the region.

The ship will be back in New Zealand later this month as part of 271 port calls by Princess Cruises, Cunard and P&O brands for 2014-15.

Christchurch’s port of Lyttelton was badly damaged by the 2010-11 earthquakes and cannot cater to larger cruise ships.

Written by Peter Needham

Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. AgentGerko says:

    If Christchurch was so keen on cruise ships, why has their plan for redevelopment of Lyttleton got no allowance for cruise ships? It seems Akaroa is to remain for at least the next decade, and not only is Akaroa nearly two hours out of Christchurch but it is also a tender port. Lyttleton is well on the way to being mended but only for cargo and until that changes, I for one will be enjoying a wander around lovely Akaroa rather than wasting half my port time sitting on a bus.

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