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Cruising in NZ to return…a small start!

October 10, 2020 Headline News No Comments Email Email

New Zealand’s Heritage Expeditions has announced that it has received all necessary approvals for voyages on its 50-passenger Spirit of Enderby starting from late November, but don’t get too excited Aussies as not only might it be challenging to get to the land of the long white cloud, but the Spirit of Enderby will sadly only be carrying New Zealanders,

Heritage Expeditions’ current plans involve operating the first departure, a week-long New Zealand coastal cruise, which will also visit Stewart Island, on 24 November, with their Aaron Russ saying that a plan submitted by the company had satisfied all clearance and exemption requirements from the Ministry of Health as well as Immigration New Zealand, with the 20 crew members on the Enderby having already started a quarantine period off the coast of Russia, after everyone tested negative for coronavirus.

He added that once they all pass the quarantine period and return another negative test, the ship will sail to New Zealand over the ensuing four weeks, with the crew to once again be tested for coronavirus upon arrival.

The 2020/21 Heritage Expeditions Southern Ocean season is expected to generate about NZ$5 million for the NZ economy, with the company hoping to help protect jobs and support local businesses, with fares on the first Heritage departure start at NZ$3,995ppts.

It’s also understood that Ponant has also applied for an exemption from the current ban on cruising in New Zealand waters for its 250-passenger Le Laperouse, which it’s hoped will be given permission to operate a NZ domestic-only season over the upcoming summer.

Ponant Chair Sarina Bratton says that if approved the voyages would begin in late Dec, with itineraries visiting around a dozen ports, with under New Zealand’s current coronavirus status of Alert Level 1 passengers would not need to be tested prior to embarkation.

A report by John Alwyn-Jones

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