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New Zealand’s Lyttelton cruise ship berth officially opened

An aerial view of the new berth on the eastern side of Lyttelton’s inner harbour entrance
New Zealand’s first purpose-built cruise ship facility was officially opened Wednesday by Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel.

Large ships have been unable to berth in Lyttelton, the gateway to Christchurch, since an earthquake in February 2011 devastated the port.

NZ$67m cost

The cruise berth is located on the eastern side of Lyttelton’s inner harbour entrance and has cost approximately NZ$67m. It is 148 meters/486 feet long and 10 meters/33 feet wide, able to handle ships which carry 6,000 passengers and 2,000 crew. 

Lyttelton Port Company’s CEO Roger Gray said the cruise berth has been delivered on time and on budget, despite the challenges of COVID-19.

‘Fantastic asset’

Gray said the berth will be ‘a fantastic long-term asset’ for Christchurch and the Canterbury region. 

He said that while more than 70 bookings for cruise ships had been made for the 2020/21 season, it is unlikely they will visit Lyttelton this (New Zealand) summer. 

Ready and waiting

‘While this season has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be ready to welcome cruise ships when they do return,’ he said.