3 Jul 2012

Calls for Vanuatu govt to upgrade wharf facilities so bigger ships can berth

6:56 am on 3 July 2012

A cruise ship operator is calling on the Vanuatu government to improve wharf facilities so larger vessels can berth.

The Destination Manager of Carnival Australia which operates P&O Cruises to Vanuatu, Michael Mihajlov, says a total of 197 cruise ships are booked to visit the country this year and 217 next year.

He is appealing to the government to upgrade the wharves in Port Vila in Efate and Luganville in Santo to guarantee security for ships able to carry 3000 passengers.

Mr Mihajlov says Carnival Australia knows that funding for the project is available through the New Zealand Aid Programme and AusAID and that all the Vanuatu needs to do is apply for funds to repair the existing wharves.

He also says P and O is considering another 12 locations in Vanuatu but wants underwater mapping of the coasts first.

Mr Mihajlov says the company needs to see an active engagement from the Vanuatu Government if it is to cater for new port of calls.