It was ''love at first sight'' for Dutch couple Frans and
Tessa Visser, who sailed into Dunedin yesterday aboard their
very own love boat, Costa neoRomantica.
Mr and Mrs Visser embarked on a cruise on the Italian vessel
on September 17 to celebrate their 35th wedding anniversary,
and upon reaching Dunedin spent some time sightseeing in the
Octagon between kisses and cuddles.
Mrs Visser said she and her husband were still very much in
love, and happy to display their affection for fellow
cruise-ship passengers armed with cameras.
''It was love at first sight,'' she said, before pulling her
husband in for a kiss.
The couple were among about 2000 cruise-ship passengers and
1000 crew members in Dunedin yesterday from Costa
neoRomantica (formerly Costa Romantica) and
Both vessels had travelled south from Akaroa and last night
departed Port Chalmers for Milford Sound.
Norma Nesbitt and Art Levins, of Canada, said spending
Christmas Day aboard Crystal Symphony was wonderful.
''We were waited on hand and foot and the food was
outstanding,'' Ms Nesbitt said.
Her son and daughter, with their spouses and four children,
were also on the cruise ship.
It was the first time Ms Nesbitt had been to New Zealand and
the first time she had spent Christmas on a cruise liner.
''It's just wonderful having your clothes in one place and
not having to put your suitcases out like when travelling by
bus. Everything's easy,'' she said.
German couple Marianne and Werner Eimer had taken a cruise on
Costa neoRomantica to escape the northern hemisphere
winter and were thrilled by their first visit to the South
The couple toured the North Island about 20 years ago.
Mr and Mrs Eimer said New Zealand was ''doing a lot'' for
At each port they visited there was plenty of information
about attractions and events, and certain things were
organised especially for cruise passengers, they said.
One such event was a special concert at St Paul's Cathedral
in the Octagon yesterday.
''New Zealanders are also very friendly, which we like,'' Mrs
Costa neoRomantica is part of the fleet of Italian
cruise-ship company Costa Crociere, whose vessel Costa
Concordia hit a reef off the Italian coast and ran
aground on January 13.
More than 4000 people on board had to be evacuated in the
partial sinking, in which 30 people were known to have died
and 64 others were injured.
Scheduled to return to Dunedin today is Voyager of the
Seas, which can carry up to 3114 passengers and 1181
The next cruise ship to visit will be Celebrity
Solstice, which is due to arrive on Sunday.