Aviation, tourism and energy writer for the Business Herald

Ovation of the Seas mega ship's final Auckland visit on Waitangi Day

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The mega ship Ovation of the Seas is due in Auckland for its last visit of this season after passengers spent about $8.5m in ports this summer.

Mega ship Ovation of the Seas will make its final New Zealand call of the summer in Auckland today after bringing nearly 20,000 passengers to this country.

Cruise line Royal Caribbean - which has released drone footage of the ship's first visit to Auckland after Christmas - says that the 17 calls to seven ports injecting an estimated $8.5million in passenger spend into the local economy.

Ovation is the largest cruise ship to visit New Zealand and at 169,000 tonnes and 348m long, it is too big to fit alongside Auckland's cruise ship wharves. The Auckland Council is studying options to modify Queens Wharf to accommodate mega ships.

More of the very big vessels, which offer more attractions and dining options, are popular with passengers and cruise lines.

On just one of the 14 night itineraries to New Zealand, the 4900 passengers guests onboard Ovation of the Seas consumed 6,600kg of chicken, 7500 dozen eggs, 2720kg of pineapple, 680kg of lemons and 3400kg of oranges.

The ship has been attracting big crowds at ports it visited.

Adam Armstrong, managing director Australia and New Zealand said Ovation is a game changer.

It was the first time a cruise line had introduced a brand new ship to the local market.

"Most importantly she introduced a new style of cruising for Kiwis. Super cruising has well and truly ushered in a brand new era of holidays."

Ovation of the Seas will arrive in Waitemata Harbour at 7:30am and depart at 4pm on its final Kiwi cruise for the summer.

It will then spend the winter in Singapore, China and Hong Kong, before returning to new Zealand waters for the 2017-18 summer season.

Cruise New Zealand estimates that during 2015-2016 the sector was worth $484 million in value added to the New Zealand economy and is forecast to grow to $490 million in the current season.

- NZ Herald

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