Bad weather delays cruise ship's arrival

Akaroa Harbour, Banks Peninsula. Photo / Banks Peninsula District Council
Akaroa Harbour, Banks Peninsula. Photo / Banks Peninsula District Council

The bad weather bashing New Zealand has delayed the arrival of Canterbury's first major cruise ship of the summer season.

Tomorrow's scheduled arrival of the Sea Princess into Akaroa Harbour has been delayed until 6am on Wednesday.

Its arrival will mark the start of another busy cruise season for the Banks Peninsula township.

The Sea Princess is the first of 74 cruise port calls into Akaroa over the next few months.

Akaroa has been the main port of call for cruise ships visiting Canterbury since the earthquakes.

"Fortunately Akaroa has coped brilliantly and passenger satisfaction levels have been exceeded," says Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism industry partnerships manager, Caroline Blanchfield.

"Surveys that we did during the last cruise season show the cruise ship passengers visiting Akaroa are helping lift business confidence and are fuelling interest in Canterbury as a destination."

In all, 92 cruise ships will visit Canterbury ports over the coming months - with 74 at Akaroa, nine calling at Kaikoura, six to Lyttelton and three to Timaru.

Nationally it is estimated that cruise ship passengers and crew will add $311 million to New Zealand's Gross Domestic Product this season and account for 5361 jobs.

"Cruising is very popular and we're thrilled that despite the damage to the facilities at the Port of Lyttelton we've still been able to welcome thousands of cruise ship passengers to our region," Ms Blanchfield said.

"They've been able to get a taste of what makes this corner of the world so special and hopefully they'll come back for a longer visit. The surveys we've done certainly suggest many intend doing just that."

- APNZ

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