Cruise ship season gets twice as nice

The cruise ships Maasdam (left) and Golden Princess in Port Chalmers yesterday.PHOTO: GERARD O'BRIEN
The cruise ships Maasdam (left) and Golden Princess in Port Chalmers yesterday.PHOTO: GERARD O'BRIEN
Passengers from the cruise ships Maasdam and Golden Princess travel on a Dunedin Railways train...
Passengers from the cruise ships Maasdam and Golden Princess travel on a Dunedin Railways train through St Leonards in Dunedin yesterday.PHOTO: GERARD O'BRIEN

Dunedin celebrated its first "double day'' of the cruise ship season yesterday, hosting two ships and the most passengers in the city at one time this season.

But the party was short-lived, after the news another cruise ship had cancelled its scheduled visit for today.

Dunedin i-SITE visitor centre manager Louise van de Vlierd said a ``double day'' was a term used when two cruise ships were in the city at the same time.

Maasdam arrived in Dunedin from Milford Sound at 6.44am yesterday and Golden Princess arrived about an hour later.

The Maasdam had about 1250 passengers and nearly 600 crew.

The Golden Princess had more than 2600 passengers and 1100 crew.

``It's the largest day of the season.''

Double days had been scheduled in Dunedin earlier this season but both times a cruise ship had cancelled because of bad weather.

Golden Princess cancelled on December 13, although Dawn Princess arrived, and Ovation of the Seas cancelled on December 22, when Radiance of the Seas made it into port.

Crystal Symphony cancelled today's visit because of a bad weather forecast for the southwest corner of the South Island.

A ``big bonus'' of past bad weather was the cruise ships Noordom and Celebrity Solstice staying overnight in Dunedin on December 11 and 15 respectively.

Dunedin tourism operators were disappointed by the cancellation of Crystal Symphony's visit because many of the
passengers had pre-booked activities.

``They were all geared up to be taking them and the passengers won't be coming, but there is nothing you can do about the weather and we've got to live with it, unfortunately.''

Radiance of the Seas was scheduled to be in Dunedin on November 27, but cancelled.

The next cruise ship scheduled to arrive in Dunedin is
the Emerald Princess, carrying more than 3000 passengers,
on Thursday this week.

`We will keep our fingers
crossed for that.''

More ``double days'' were scheduled this season, including seven next month.

``January is a pretty impressive month.''

Dunedin Railways sales manager Nikki Ford said it was great having the two cruise ships in Dunedin as scheduled yesterday.

`We had two big trains going up the gorge in the morning and three trips going up to Waitati. We've had a very busy day.''

However, the news Crystal Symphony had cancelled was ``devastating'' and she hoped it would be the last cancellation of the season.

shawn.mcavinue@odt.co.nz

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