Big cruise ship coming

The largest passenger ship to visit New Zealand - 3840-passenger Voyager of the Seas - has been confirmed as a visitor to Dunedin next year.

Last month, Royal Caribbean Cruises announced the vessel would be based in Sydney from November 2012 for five months.

The 137,280-tonne vessel will make its inaugural visit to Dunedin on November 17, and visit the city a further five times, the company said.

A visit on February 27 will coincide with the arrival of 2000-passenger Sun Princess, which is expected to bring a record number of passengers into the city.

Tourism Dunedin chief executive Hamish Saxton said the international cruise ship industry was booming, and was catering for demand by building larger ships.

The arrival of Voyager of the Seas was a further endorsement of the burgeoning New Zealand market, he said.

"The frequency of the trips to New Zealand and the inclusion of Dunedin is terrific news.

Cruise arrivals are continuing to grow, particularly after some more challenging years, [and] the growth in cruise ship passengers is tremendous." Dunedin had previously coped well with cruise arrivals totalling more than 5000 passengers, Mr Saxton said.

"This ship going to be a spectacular sight in our spectacular harbour."



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