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Waterways getting busier for summer

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 9/10/2016

Customs officers are gearing up for a busy summer welcoming visiting yachts while a record cruise liner season is under way.

The arrival of tourists on vessels of all shapes and sizes is continuing to be a trend.

The traditional small craft arrival season starts in mid-October and continues through to mid-December.

Customs expects about 420 to 440 arrivals during this time, says Customs Minister Nicky Wagner.

They vary from solo sailors to super yachts.

Opua in Northland is the most popular destination, accounting for 70 per cent of the arrivals.

Customs streamlined its processes and doubled the temporary entry period for yachts to 24 months a couple of years ago, meaning they can stay for longer without paying duty or taxes.

New Zealand will also welcome a record 33 cruise ships to its shores between October 1 and April 30, an increase on the 28 ships last year.

Between them, the ships will make more than 600 calls to ports around the country.

The region's largest cruise operator, Carnival Australia, kicked off a record New Zealand summer cruise season on Friday, with Princess Cruises' Sun Princess making the first of almost 400 calls by the company's ships to ports around the country.

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