Abel Tasman proves irresistible to ship passengers

ALASTAIR PAULIN
Last updated 10:29 06/03/2014
Hanseatic
GOLDEN DAWN: Cruise ship Hanseatic being met by Wilsons Abel Tasman boat off Kaiteriteri early last Friday morning.

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The biggest problem for the guides showing a group of high-end German cruise ship passengers the Abel Tasman National Park was "prising them off the beach".

Wilsons Abel Tasman chief Darryl Wilson he couldn't blame the tourists. Last Friday was a gorgeous day and like most Germans, the group was loving the park and didn't want to leave Apple Tree Bay where they were having brunch after different adventures in the park.

They were passengers on the Hanseatic, an "expedition ship", which is smaller than the mammoth cruise ships that go to larger ports. With 185 passengers, the Hanseatic could anchor off Kaiteriteri, with passengers being ferried to shore by Wilsons Voyager.

Darryl said about 60 passengers were split between a kayaking and two walking groups, who all regrouped at Apple Tree Bay, while another 50 passengers cruised to Totaranui and then onto Collingwood for a Farewell Spit tour.

The next cruise ship in the area will be The World, a vessel that is a permanent residence to many of its 200 passengers. It will berth in Nelson on April 26.

Nelson Tasman Tourism says at least 14 cruise ships are booked to visit the region in the next two years.

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