IT IS rare for a cruise ship to spend more than one night at Port of Tauranga in New Zealand – but there will be no passengers on board on this occasion. The 286-metre Noordam and its crew will soon spend five nights in port following schedule changes.

Port of Tauranga chief operating officer, Leonard Sampson, said the layover is a unique event and local businesses will benefit from having several hundred crew members staying in the Bay of Plenty.

“The vessel has been operating in the South Pacific for the whole summer and all crew onboard meet health authority requirements,” he said.

All cruise and cargo ships visiting Port of Tauranga strictly follow Ministry of Health regulations regarding the health status of the people onboard. The rules are administered by the public health unit of the Bay of Plenty District Health Board.

Within 24 hours of expected arrival in New Zealand, ships must declare if there is any illness on board and are not allowed to berth unless public health staff are satisfied there is no risk.

ADVERTISEMENT  

Because of the Covid-19 outbreak, ship captains must also declare whether the ship or anyone else onboard has been in a Covid-19 hot spot within 14 days. In this unlikely scenario, those people would be banned from coming ashore.

In addition, Cruise Lines International Association members (including all of the cruise ships that visit Tauranga regularly) are currently denying boarding to any crew or passengers that have been in or transited through China, Hong Kong, Macau, South Korea, Iran or northern Italy within the past 14 days, or who have been in contact with anyone suspected or diagnosed as having Covid-19.

Anyone who has been in Japan or the rest of Italy are subject to additional checks before being allowed to board.

ADVERTISEMENT