29 Nov 2011

Cruise ships forced to miss Hawke's Bay

8:10 pm on 29 November 2011

Four cruise ships have by-passed Hawke's Bay in the past month, leaving tourist operators missing out on revenue of about 6000 passengers.

Two ships detoured past the port in rough weather last week, another the week before, and earlier a fourth had mechanical problems leaving Wellington.

Hawke's Bay Tourism general manager Annie Dundas says the lack of visitors since late October has meant a slow start to the summer season for retailers and tourist operators.

Ms Dundas says the rest of the cruise ship season is looking more settled, with 100,000 passengers due to arrive over summer.

Sally Jackson from Napier's Art Deco Trust says the city would have missed out on hundreds of customers. Ms Jackson says the cruise ship visitors are vital and are sorely missed.

The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research is predicting the long range forecast for Hawke's Bay to be settled with calm weather.