Record-breaking cruise ship visits Dunedin

The cruise ship Celebrity Solstice became the longest vessel to visit Dunedin - measuring 317.19m - when it docked at Port Chalmers on Saturday. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
The cruise ship Celebrity Solstice became the longest vessel to visit Dunedin - measuring 317.19m - when it docked at Port Chalmers on Saturday. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
It may not have been the largest, but it was certainly the longest.

On Saturday, the cruise ship Celebrity Solstice set a record when it berthed at Port Chalmers carrying 2850 passengers and 1500 crew for a day in Dunedin.

The vessel - on its first visit to New Zealand - weighed in at 121,878gt, making it about 16,000gt lighter than the record-holding Voyager of the Seas that visited Dunedin on November 17.

However, Celebrity Solstice took the honours when the tape measure came out, stretching 317.19m - just over 6m longer than Voyager of the Seas - from bow to stern, earning it the title of the longest vessel to visit Dunedin.

It also carried with it a set of unique floating features, from a two-storey glass tower of wine bottles in the ship's main restaurant to a natural grass lawn on the top deck for passengers to kick a ball or recline on, a spokeswoman said.

The vessel was operated out of Sydney by Royal Caribbean, the second-largest cruise ship company in the world.

It would be a repeat visitor to Dunedin, bringing 30,000 passengers to the city over summer, she said.

-chris.morris@odt.co.nz

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