Cruise sojourn in city ‘wonderful’

Celebrity Edge cruise ship passengers Shuhaili and Chris Crane out enjoying their visit to...
Celebrity Edge cruise ship passengers Shuhaili and Chris Crane out enjoying their visit to Dunedin. PHOTO: STEPHEN JAQUIERY
To Dunedin residents, yesterday’s wet weather made for a dismal Boxing Day.

But for a family of Ukrainian cruise ship passengers visiting the city, it was paradise compared with life for their family living under fire from Russian forces back home.

"Life is hard back home. This is wonderful," a family member, who declined to be named, said.

Celebrity Edge, which carries up to 2918 passengers, and the Crystal Symphony, which carries about 515, spent Boxing Day in Dunedin.

Passengers arrived to gloomy skies and persistent rain.

Chris and Shuhaili Crane, of Brisbane, said the trip had been a long time coming. It had initially been a birthday present for Chris’ father, but had been delayed several times due to Covid-19 and other events.

"I had a couple of room-mates from Otago when I was studying, so it’s nice to know where they’re from," Mr Crane said.

Mrs Crane said she enjoyed the heritage of Dunedin.

"We really like the old buildings. It’s just been really nice."

Even the weather had not been a hassle, she said.

"We’ve just come from really hot temperatures in Australia, so it’s nice to be somewhere mild.

"It’s been lovely, but we would not be going swimming here."

The pair had brought their extended family along for the visit.

"My mother-in-law is loving the fact she doesn’t have to cook," Mr Crane said.

"But we’ve loved Dunedin, and we would definitely come back."

This is a busy time for cruise ship visits to Dunedin, with the Ovation of the Seas, which carries about 4180 passengers, scheduled to arrive today, and the Silver Muse, which carries about 600, scheduled to arrive tomorrow.