Busy weekend at Port Chalmers

Cruise ship Sea Princess, the container vessel Bahia Negra and log-carrying ship DL Marigold ...
Cruise ship Sea Princess, the container vessel Bahia Negra and log-carrying ship DL Marigold (foreground), are docked at Port Chalmers yesterday morning. Photo by Craig Baxter.
Visits by two large cruise ships, container vessels and a logging ship contributed to a busy weekend at Port Otago.

Port Otago Ltd commercial manager Peter Brown said it had probably been the port's busiest weekend for about six months.

The 261m long cruise ship Sea Princess, which carries up to 1950 passengers, visited Port Chalmers yesterday, following Oosterdam, with an 1848-passenger capacity, which had arrived on Saturday.

The container ship Bahia Negra arrived on Saturday and left at 1.12pm yesterday, and another container vessel, Lica Maersk, arrived at 3.42pm yesterday and is due to leave at 7am today.

Mr Brown said this level of activity was ''very positive for Port Otago'' and ''very good for the region''. It was ''actually very exciting'' to see so much activity and vibrancy at the port.

''What it signals is the export season is starting to ramp up for Otago and Southland,'' he said, adding that the early cruise ship season was also under way.

The usual weekend container ship activity was continuing, and he said log exports through the port had also significantly increased during the past 10 years.

There had also been positive growth in cruise ship visits over the years. The weekend visitors were the fifth and sixth cruise ships of the latest cruise season, he said.

The bulk carrier DL Marigold departed last night carrying thousands of tonnes of logs from the company's Beach St, Port Chalmers, holding facility.

Another vessel, Mount Adams, which called midweek at Leith wharf, had taken about 15,000 tonnes of logs held at the port's Fryatt St facility, as well as loading more logs from the company's Beach St log-holding facility.

Mr Brown said Port Otago would pave the Fryatt St holding facility during the next few months, eliminating any wind-blown dust, and preventing mud being tracked on to nearby streets.

It was good to ''improve conditions'' for the facility's neighbours and the move would also ensure logs were exported in cleaner condition, he said.


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