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Ovation of the Seas drops anchor in Auckland harbour

Ovation of the Seas drops anchor in Auckland harbour
Royal Caribbean International’s168,666gt Ovation of the Seas dropped anchor in Waitemata Harbour on her maiden visit to Auckland Tuesday morning. Passengers were being tendered to the Viaduct area.

At 348 metres, the world’s fourth largest cruise ship is longer than the 328-metre Sky Tower is tall and too big to berth at Auckland’s Queens and Princes Wharves.

RCI has been negotiating with Ports of Auckland, which is owned by Auckland Council, to find an alternative berth since the council announced it had suspended plans for a B3 extension on one side of its Bledisloe container wharf for cruise ships.

Although disembarkation by tender is not the cruise line’s preferred option for almost 6,500 passengers and crew, it acknowledged that Auckland is a key destination on New Zealand itineraries.

Adam Armstrong, md Australia and New Zealand, said Ovation of the Seas is a game-changer for cruising Down Under.

‘Super-cruising is a holiday experience unlike anything else you can find in New Zealand and it can only be found on Royal Caribbean,' Armstrong said.

Ovation’s three visits to Auckland during the 2016/17 wave season are expected to inject more than NZ$1.5m in passenger spending alone, while her maiden New Zealand season is expected to inject more than NZ$9.5m into the national economy.