Big weekend for cruise ship visits

PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
The cruise ship Noordam (above) berthed at Port Chalmers early this morning, the third of four vessels visiting Dunedin this weekend.

Noordam passengers Hugh and Janet Alston from Canberra. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
Noordam passengers Hugh and Janet Alston from Canberra. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON

The Noordam, with capacity for 1918 passengers and 820 crew, arrived at the container terminal at 6.30am from Fiordland, and would set sail for Akaroa at 6pm.

It will be joined by Golden Princess, with capacity for 2624 passengers and 1100 crew, berthing at Beach St wharf at 7am today from Akaroa, before leaving for Fiordland at 6pm.

Yesterday Dawn Princess, with capacity for 1950 passengers and 900 crew, arrived about 7.15am from Fiordland and left for Akaroa at 5.30pm.

Maasdam, with capacity for 1258 passengers and 580 crew also arrived from Akaroa and left for Milford Sound at 5pm.

The season began in October and was expected to bring 87 cruise ships with a total capacity of 250,000 people to Dunedin.

Port Otago general manager commercial Peter Brown said the total passenger capacity for the season represented an almost 40% increase on last season's passenger numbers.

The port had made a ''sizeable investment'' to improve its facilities for this season, which was an indication of how important cruises were for Port Otago and the city, he said.

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