Port Taranaki is preparing to welcome more than 2600 passengers and crew to the ‘second best region in the world’ when three cruise ships visit during summer.
Port Taranaki chief executive Guy Roper said the port would put out the welcome mat for the visitors and make sure their first experience of the world’s second best region to visit, as rated by travel bible Lonely Planet, was a pleasant one.
“At Port Taranaki we aim to make a real difference to the Taranaki economy and provide world-class logistics services,” Mr Roper said. “We support a wide range of industries – from forestry to oil and gas – and the cruise ship sector is another important and growing part of that.
“With Lonely Planet’s recent recognition, we feel a real responsibility to ensure that the passengers get a warm welcome as they discover our region.”
The first ship of the summer, the Caledonian Sky, with 114 passengers and 74 crew aboard, will come into port early on Friday, 6 January and dock at Breakwater II for the day.
On Wednesday, 1 February, 388 passengers and 295 crew on the Silver Whisper will stop at Port Taranaki before departing early in the afternoon.
The largest ship of the three, the Artania, which is 230m long and carries 1200 passengers and 537 crew, will berth at the Blyde wharf on Sunday, 26 February. The visitors will have from 8am to 6pm to explore the region.
“We’re looking forward to playing our part in promoting Taranaki and hopefully encouraging more cruise ships to visit in the future. The cruise ship sector provides great potential for the Taranaki economy, particularly our local businesses and tour operators,” Mr Roper said.
Nationally, the 2016-17 cruise season is expected to add $490 million to the New Zealand economy and support more than 8800 jobs.