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An artist's drawing of Ovation of the Seas in Sydney Harbour

Raewyn Tan: Ovation’s programme a wakeup call to New Zealand

Responding to yesterday’s announcement that Ovation of the Seas will cruise to New Zealand when she arrives in Sydney in December 2016, Cruise New Zealand gm Raewyn Tan said the organisation has been actively lobbying for big-ship capable infrastructure.

‘For the last year, Cruise New Zealand has been saying ‘it’s not if, but when’ and now the big ships are coming,’ Tan said.

Tan said each visit by the newest and largest ship to come to New Zealand will be the equivalent of 12 Airbus A380s arriving at the same time.

‘Due to the size of this ship, it can only visit select New Zealand ports, where minimal upgrades are still required to accommodate her.

‘As Sydney is important to Australian cruising, so Auckland must be included in any New Zealand cruise itinerary.

‘Neither Princes or Queens wharves are big enough to accommodate the Ovation of the Seas and it will need to use an industrial wharf as an interim solution.’

Tan said Cruise New Zealand has been lobbying for new infrastructure since Quantum of the Seas was announced for China in 2014.

‘Cruising tends to occur during the sunny months and the belief is that Australasia is a natural offset for Asian winters,’ she said.

Tourism Industry Association ce Chris Roberts says the growth of the cruise sector is great for New Zealand’s tourism sector and wider economy.

‘The tourism industry’s Tourism 2025 growth framework identifies cruise as a valuable opportunity for growth over the next decade, both in terms of direct visitor spend and a means of bringing the tourism dollar to ports around the country,’ Roberts said.

‘If we want to maximise the returns to Auckland and New Zealand, the development of the Ports of Auckland must include improved facilities for the largest cruise ships.’

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