Auckland’s record cruise ship season kicks off

Published: Thu 8 Oct 2015 09:51 AM
8 October 2015
Auckland’s record cruise ship season kicks off
Diamond Princess arriving into Auckland this morning kicking off the record cruise season
Auckland’s bumper cruise season has officially kicked off with the arrival of Princess Cruises’ mega liner Diamond Princess into port today.
The 116,000-tonne, Diamond Princess arrived in the harbour this morning bringing with her 2670-guests who are spending the day exploring Auckland before they embark on their next leg of their journey this evening to the Bay of Islands.
Mayor Len Brown says cruise ship visits into Auckland have more than doubled in the past 10 years.
“It’s great to see the cruise sector thriving, and that this is set to continue in the coming seasons with even more ships and passengers,” he says.
“The visitor economy plays a critical role in Auckland's economic growth and the fast growing cruise sector is going to help Auckland achieve the economic aspirations set out in the Auckland Visitor Plan.”
The Auckland Visitor Plan – created on behalf of Auckland Council – aims to grow the region’s visitor economy from a $4.8 billion industry in 2012 to a $7.2 billion sector in 2021.
Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) External Relations General Manager Steve Armitage says there will be 125 voyage calls into Auckland over the next eight months.
“On several occasions throughout the season Auckland will have at least two cruise ships in port at the same time. All up we’re expecting a quarter of a million passengers, that’s a 32 per cent increase on last season and estimated to be worth $251.7 million to the region, and $543 million for New Zealand,” he says.
“Last season the sector provided a $190 million boost to the Auckland economy, up almost 20 per cent on the previous season.”
The bookings for 2016-2017 are also on track to be another record season and will include visits from Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas which will be the largest ship to ever come to New Zealand.
Auckland plays a key role in the New Zealand tourism industry as the primary exchange point for cruise ships – where passengers embark or disembark their vessel, and where ships are re-provisioned.
Mr Armitage says, “With the introduction of the Auckland Cruise Action Plan earlier this year, ATEED and the Auckland Council group have a clear plan in place to identify economic opportunities in one of the fastest growing sectors within tourism.
“Auckland is well positioned to cater for continued growth in the cruise sector, but infrastructure will need to be developed to accommodate larger cruise ships.”
Auckland Council has initiated a 12 month study looking at the long term options for meeting Auckland’s port needs and will consider a wide range of options for the ports future development including for larger cruise ships.

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