10 Jan 2015

Bumper cruise ship season for Auckland

8:56 pm on 10 January 2015

Auckland's tourism and hospitality businesses are celebrating what will be a bumper summer for cruise ships to the city.

The Sea Princess, one of the cruise ships stopping in Akaroa Harbour in March.

The Sea Princess, one of the cruise ships stopping in Akaroa Harbour in March. Photo: AFP

Ninety-two ships carrying 257,000 passengers and crew will visit this season, including three super-sized ones known as Cunard Queens.

Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development (ATEED) chief executive Brett O'Reilly said that number would only continue to grow so the organisation was assessing its facilities to make sure it had the capacity to cope in the future.

Mr O'Reilly said up to three cruise ships a day would dock in Auckland at the peak of the season.

The ships are expected to bring $160 million to the Auckland economy.

Meanwhile, three massive cruise ships will dock in Akaroa in March, much to the delight of Canterbury's tourism operators.

The Queen Mary, the Queen Victoria, and the Sea Princess will stop in Akaroa Harbour on 17 March this year, as part of the global celebrations for the Cunard Shipping line's 175 years.

Caroline Blanchfield of Canterbury and Christchurch Tourism said the arrival of the three ships would be a great boon to the town, as it would boost its profile.

She said if people overseas saw photographs of these ships in Canterbury's harbours, it would encourage them to visit.