Look what turned up in time for dinner

The cruise ship Ovation of the Seas is greeted on its arrival in Otago Harbour yesterday by (from left) Adelle O'Neill and her children, Hannah (10) and Josie (9), of Sawyers Bay. Photo by Stephen Jaquiery.
The cruise ship Ovation of the Seas is greeted on its arrival in Otago Harbour yesterday by (from left) Adelle O'Neill and her children, Hannah (10) and Josie (9), of Sawyers Bay. Photo by Stephen Jaquiery.
Passengers Paul Thomas (35) and Catherine Bailey (37), both of Sydney, with Highland dancers Olivia Glover (12, left) and Olivia Buchanan-Letts (14), both of Dunedin, in the Larnach Castle ballroom in Dunedin last night. Photo by Gregor Richardson.
Passengers Paul Thomas (35) and Catherine Bailey (37), both of Sydney, with Highland dancers Olivia Glover (12, left) and Olivia Buchanan-Letts (14), both of Dunedin, in the Larnach Castle ballroom in Dunedin last night. Photo by Gregor Richardson.

Passengers and crew of mega cruise ship Ovation of the Seas enjoyed an unplanned night in Dunedin last night.

The largest cruise ship to come to New Zealand arrived in Dunedin at 3.47pm yesterday.

Ship's captain Henrik Loy said the weather was ''good'' for the arrival.

''It was very nice.''

The arrival was easier yesterday than when the ship made its first visit to the city earlier this month, when the weather was worse.

The Norwegian captain did not mind the Dunedin weather.

''It has its own charm.''

Strong winds could delay the scheduled departure from Beach St wharf at 5pm today, he said.

He doubted the ship would stay another night, as the more than 4600 passengers and 1600 crew were expected in Sydney.

''It'll be OK, by the time we get out and around to Fiordland. It should be manageable.''

Last night he enjoyed a ''special evening'' at Larnach Castle, which was ''the highlight'' of his stay in the city, he said.

Castle founding director Margaret Barker dined with senior staff and passengers from the ship in the castle ballroom last night.

''We are having a choice of duck and beef and squid, apple crumble and berry tart - all sorts of delicious things,'' Mrs Barker said.

Ovation of the Seas passengers brother and sister Paul Thomas and Catherine Bailey said they were enjoying the overnight stay and dined at the castle last night.

Mrs Bailey said Dunedin was ''beautiful and gorgeous'' and the authentic Scottish weather was a highlight.

''It adds to the appeal,'' Mr Thomas said.

Today was set to be Dunedin's biggest cruise ship day yet with Ovation of the Seas and Celebrity Solstice in port.

Celebrity Solstice, with capacity for 2850 passengers and 1250 crew, was due to arrive at the multipurpose berth at 8.30am today, from Fiordland, and would sail to Akaroa at 8pm.

Seven Seas Voyager, with capacity for 708 passengers and 445 crew, is due to arrive at the container terminal at 6.45pm tonight from Milford Sound and will stay overnight, sailing to Akaroa at 7pm tomorrow.

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