Cruise ships not option for cup accommodation

The use of cruise ships to reduce the squeeze on Dunedin accommodation providers during the Rugby World Cup has been investigated and ruled out by Tourism Dunedin.

The cruise-ship option was explored by the regional tourism organisation following concerns over accommodation capacity for the England v Argentina match, which was transferred to Dunedin following the Christchurch earthquake.

Tourism Dunedin chief executive Hamish Saxton said inquiries revealed cruise ships were already booked, with none expected to arrive in New Zealand during the pool section of the tournament.

"From a logistical point of view it was not possible."

Almost 5500 passengers on board three cruise ships - the Rhapsody of the Seas, the Ms Volendam and the Pacific Dawn - are expected to berth in Auckland for the semifinals and final.

Mr Saxton said there was likely to be enough accommodation in Dunedin and surrounding regions, but acknowledged there was a shortage of quality accommodation providers.

Dunedin's Forsyth Barr Stadium, which will be referred to as Otago Stadium during the tournament, is hosting four weekend matches

hamish.mcneilly@odt.co.nz

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