As so many more cruise ships sail Down Under for summer in the southern hemisphere, New Zealand is positioning herself to be a bigger part of the action.
Auckland, already the country’s busiest port (and so convenient to the city centre), has just opened the refurbished Shed 10, originally a cargo shed on Queens Wharf, as a state of the art terminal for cruise passengers.
Princess Cruises’ Sea Princess is the first cruise ship to use Shed 10 on October 11 at the start of NZ’s “wave season”. She is on a 13-day round cruise from Sydney (Australia), and arrives in Auckland via the Bay of Islands, and then sails on to the NZ ports of Tauranga, Napier, Wellington, Akaroa, Dunedin and Fiordland National Park.
Isolated Fiordland’s majestic scenery on NZ’s South Island is a highlight of any cruise. When australiancruisingnews.com was last there it rained heavily and much of the park’s mighty Milford Sound, was shrouded in mist. For some it was a disappointment, but for most the bonus was the sight of so many waterfalls rushing down the Sound’s steep cliffs like molten silver.
Novelist Rudyard Kipling described this towering Fordland as the Eighth Wonder of the World.
Last season, Auckland hosted 100 cruise ships carrying 178,000 passengers and 78,000 crew members who together injected more than NZ$116 million into the region’s economy. The forecast is for further growth as more international cruise ships head Down Under.
Cruise lines using Auckland’s new port facilities this summer include Princess Cruises (www.princess.com.au), Celebrity Cruises (www.celebrity.com.au), Holland America Line (www.hollandamerica.com), P&O (www.pocruises.com.au), Royal Caribbean (www.rccl.com.au), Seabourn (www.seabourn.com.au), Silversea (www.silversea.com.au), and Crystal Cruises, (www.wiltrans.com.au)