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Last cruise ship of the year in Wellington

NZN 16/04/2016

Wellington businesses are totting up the numbers on the cruise season and they're all bigger than last year.

The last cruise ship of the season, Explorer of the Seas, brings 3000 visitors to the capital on Saturday.

They are exploring the city before heading back to a ship with on board activities that include a rock climbing wall, an ice-skating rink and a mini golf course.

CentrePort, the operator of Wellington's port, is smiling as it does the numbers on the cruise season.

The 230,000 passengers and crew on 76 ships is up 15 per cent on last year and is a record.

"Our biggest day was January 15 when the Solstice and Voyager of the Seas brought 9082 passengers into the city on a perfect you-can't-beat-Wellington Friday," chief executive Derek Nind says.

Cruise New Zealand estimates the bumper season will contribute $65.7 million to the Wellington economy.

It was a mild summer so all scheduled ships arrived in Wellington and the feedback from both passengers and crew was exceptional, Mr Nind said.

They liked Wellington's compact, walkable CBD and the tours and hospitality on offer.

Next year the 168,000-tonne Ovation of the Seas, the largest cruise ship ever to come to New Zealand, visits Wellington.

Fifteen years ago the largest ship was just 22,120 tonnes.

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