Taranaki’s cruise ship season isn’t over after all.
After a late scheduling change, the region’s most recent visitor, the Azamara Journey, is making a surprise and welcome return to Port Taranaki on Tuesday (18 February).
“We got a call from the ship’s agent on Thursday, who said the ship was making a change to her course and ports of call because of a weather event likely to hit the south of the country this weekend,” Port Taranaki head of commercial Ross Dingle said.
“They asked if the ship could make a stop at Port Taranaki and we were more than happy to say ‘yes’.”
The Azamara Journey is scheduled to arrive at Port Taranaki at 11am on Tuesday and depart for Australia at 10pm the same day.
Mr Dingle said he had been in contact with Venture Taranaki, tour operators, the New Plymouth District Council, and the Taranaki Chamber of Commerce so that transport and tourism options for the passengers could be arranged quickly.
“This is a separate cruise than when the ship was here on 5 February, so it will be a new group of passengers we will welcome, and who will be able to experience the great things Taranaki has to offer.”
He said Port Taranaki could accommodate the ship comfortably.
“We’ve got fantastic, multi-skilled staff here at Port Taranaki, and the capability to be flexible and adapt quickly to shipping needs, so the vessel can easily be added to our berthing schedule.
“The fact the Azamara Journey asked to return is a great endorsement of the port’s ability to cater for cruise ships and of the visitor experience the passengers had while in Taranaki.”