Cruise season sails back into Dunedin

Dunedin’s 2022-23 cruise season will get under way on October 26 with the arrival of Celebrity Eclipse.

Speaking on Tuesday to a meeting of some 60 local tourism operators, NZ Cruise Association chief executive Kevin O’Sullivan said.

"Cruising is up and running."

In 2022-23, New Zealand would see 42 ships making 907 port calls.

That would be similar in numbers to the 2019-20 season which generated a revenue of $50 million for Otago.

Port Otago cruise manager Carolyn Bennett said 112 of the 907 port calls would be to Port Chalmers, with 21 double days — when two cruise ships would arrive on the same day — and 74% of arrivals between December and February.

"We’re very excited to have the cruise ships back," Mrs Bennett said.

The season would be shorter than in the past, when the first ship docked early in October and the last late in April.

This season would wrap up on April 9, 2023, with the visit of Ovation of the Seas, which carried up to 4905 passengers.

Mr O’Sullivan said there was a strong demand for cruising and at the end of last month 95% of the world’s cruise ships were back in operation.

There were issues, though, of which the biggest was staffing, not only for shipping lines but for onshore operators from cafes to tourist operators.

Dunedin Visitor Centre manager Louise van Vlierd told the meeting that cruise bus stops in the Octagon would be as in previous cruise seasons, with the central carriageway closed on double days.

If the Octagon was closed for pre-booked events, the bus stops would be outside Toitu, a change necessitated by the new hospital building work.

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