Fog halts ships' visits

Sea fog from Dunedin's hot weather kept two cruise ships from entering Otago Harbour yesterday.

The mist hung low over Taiaroa Head, meaning Celebrity Solstice and Seabourn Encore were unable to visit.

Between them, the ships were capable of carrying more than 3000 passengers and 1600 crew.

Dunedin i-Site visitor centre manager Louise van de Vlierd said the two ships were the first cancelled this season.

That compared with this time last season, when six ships had been cancelled because of weather.

The decisions to turn away were made by both ships in the early afternoon.

The ships ''waited and waited'' for the mist to clear before leaving.

''They didn't make the decision lightly. They really did want to come in.''

While Port Chalmers was sunny, the mist had hung around Taiaroa Head.

Regatta, capable of carrying 684 passengers and 386 crew, is due this morning.

Diamond Princess and Golden Princess, both larger ships, are expected on Friday, although the forecast is for cooler weather by then.

MetService meteorologist Tuporo Marsters said the fog, which had stretched as far up the coast as Kaikoura, had drifted offshore by 2.30pm.

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