11 Feb 2015

Carnival sees no problem with Akaroa port

1:34 pm on 11 February 2015

Cruise ship operator, Carnival, does not believe preventing large ships from stopping at Lyttleton will hamper growth in the local cruise market.

Earthquake damage to wharves at Lyttelton port means large ships no longer have somewhere to berth on their way from Dunedin to Wellington.

Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines said that could result in the South Island being dropped as a destination.

But Carnival, which accounts for 70 percent of the market, said it had been impressed by the way Akaroa stepped up as an attractive hub instead of Lyttelton.

Spokesperson David Jones said it would be good to have both Lyttleton and Akaroa available.

But he said lack of access to Lyttleton would not stop ships stopping in Canterbury, or the continuing growth of the cruise market around New Zealand.

Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines carries about 40 percent of all the cruise ship passengers who visit New Zealand.

Its New Zealand representative Tony Petrie said since Lyttelton was taken out of action, the cruise line's super-sized 3500 passenger capacity ships have cut sailings to the South Island from six three years ago, to just one for the coming season.

He said without a stop at Lyttelton, cruises to the South Island are hard to sell.

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