Cruise ships berthed at Queen's Wharf in central Auckland (Image: Todd Eyre)
February 2017 was the Ports of Auckland’s busiest ever cruise season.
The New Zealand port's team handled 31 cruise calls and 89,516 passengers and crew in just 28 days – more than in the entire 2007 cruise season.
“Our cruise team do an absolutely fantastic job making sure people visiting Auckland have a great first impression of our city,” said Tony Gibson, Ports of Auckland CEO. “Their work is not easy, especially in a month when there were many days with multiple cruise ships in port.”
Sixteen of the 31 cruise ship visits were full passenger exchanges, eight were partial exchanges and seven were transit calls. Princess Cruises’ Emerald Princess made the largest single full passenger exchange (5,990 people) in New Zealand’s cruise history on 24 February.
Other February highlights included maiden calls from Cruise & Maritime Voyages’ Magellan, Seabourn Cruise Line’s Seabourn Encore and Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Star.
The port also hosted multiple ship visits on 12 days, including its first-ever day with four simultaneous calls from Seabourn Encore, Norwegian Star, Ponant’s L’Austral and residential yacht The World. Three of these ships undertook full passenger exchanges, bringing 3,550 guests to Auckland.
Estimates suggest that this year’s record breaking cruise season will add AUS$490 million to the New Zealand economy, growing from AUS$484 million last season.