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Cruise NZ: Infrastructure delays costly

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 19/12/2016
Image of a cruise ship © Brendon O'Hagan/Bloomberg Image of a cruise ship

Delays in developing facilities at Auckland and Lyttleton ports are hampering the growth of the cruise ship industry, Cruise NZ says.

Executive officer Kevin O'Sullivan says it's "a wakeup call" that a new 4200-passenger ship planned for P&O Cruises Australia will not go ahead.

Mr Sullivan says the good news is that P&O will still bring the 3000-passenger Carnival Splendor to Australia and New Zealand in 2019.

"But it has cited a lack of infrastructure progress in the region as one of the reasons for deferring the build of a bigger ship," he said.

Mr O'Sullivan pointed to the slow progress in building berths for larger cruise ships in Auckland and even slower decision-making to provide a cruise ship berth in Lyttelton as hindering the growth of a $490 million industry.

He said the largest cruise ship to visit New Zealand, the Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines' Ovation of the Seas, arrives in Auckland on December 27, but was too long to berth there.

It would have to anchor in the harbour with passengers ferried ashore on tenders.

The Ovation would call into Dunedin, but the lack of a berth in Lyttelton meant it would bypass Canterbury and steam straight to Wellington.

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