THE 220-METRE long Maasdam arrived at Napier Port recently, carrying 1258 passengers and 580 crew, on the first of four visits to Napier this season.
Napier Port CEO Todd Dawson said the port has a record 87 cruise ships scheduled to call this season, up from 70 last season.
“We’ll be welcoming up to 135,000 cruise passengers to Napier between October and April, which is an increase of around 20% on the passenger count last season. Our cruise industry continues to experience robust growth, and we’re hitting new records year on year.”
The 2019-2020 cruise season promises to be a major boost for the Hawke’s Bay economy, with passengers and crew expected to spend a total of NZ$32m.
Worldwide cruise tourism has grown in popularity over recent years, particularly the southern hemisphere routes, and Napier is set to continue to benefit as a gateway to the Hawke’s Bay region for the growing number of cruise ships visiting New Zealand.
Napier Port’s capability and cruise manager Bruce Lochhead said Napier has been regularly voted the best port of call in New Zealand by cruise ship passengers.
“We are always looking to improve the passenger experience at the port and this season we are excited to roll out a number of initiatives, including the introduction of a new cruise customer service team,” Mr Lochhead said.
“We also make a real point of working closely with our partners… so that together we can offer a high quality end-to-end experience for those visiting our region via cruise ship.”