Auckland's new primary cruise ship terminal was opened yesterday in a 103-year-old wharf shed.
In the coming season thousands of passengers are expected to pass through Shed 10, on Queens Wharf off Quay St and opposite Queen Elizabeth II Square, with the first cruise ship due in October.
The two-level restored building, almost the size of a football field inside, will be the city's primary cruise terminal from the start of the 2013/14 cruise season. On October 11, the P&O liner Sea Princess will berth there.
The much smaller overseas passenger terminal next to the Hilton Hotel on Princes Wharf will continue to be used but Waterfront Auckland said it was only half the size of Shed 10, which can take ships up to 294m.
Scoping studies have been done to assess what's needed to cater for longer vessels on Queens Wharf. Another 200m vessel can berth on the other side of Queens Wharf but Princes can take ships up to 320m.
Extensive work was done inside the old Queens Wharf building beside the Cloud. The east side of its upper level has a series of sliding doors and movable walls to allow a gangway to be connected anywhere along its length for cruise ship passengers.
Structural steel was installed to strengthen the building and its frame. New service cores were developed inside the old goods shed at each end of the building with lifts, toilets, and service and administration rooms.
Stairs, lifts and an escalator have been built for access to the first floor.
The upper floor will be the passenger lounge, processing and waiting areas for embarking passengers and Customs-controlled space for border agency processing.
The ground floor will be used for passenger luggage, security and border agency processing.