Lyttelton misses out on more cruises

ALAN WOOD
Last updated 14:14 18/10/2012

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Lyttelton Port of Christchurch has confirmed it is unable to accept bookings for the majority of cruise vessels for the 2013/2014 cruise season.

In March 2012, LPC announced it would defer the development of new cruise berth facilities pending a comprehensive review of port development and enhancement plans after the Canterbury earthquakes of 2010 and 2011.

The review of development and enhancement plans included reassessing the original cruise berth plans, and the proposed designs, in light of the seismic activity.

Akaroa started hosting extra ships from late last year because of earthquake damage at Lyttelton port and is hosting another 80-plus cruise ships in the current season through to April next year

Akaroa will continue host the bulk of the cruise ships for the following 2013/14 season as well, though Lyttelton continues to host some of the smaller cruise ships.

Chief executive Peter Davie today said the port was now working through options for cruise berth development, design, construction and funding.

"Given the complex nature and the limited timeframe, it will be challenging to meet the opening of the 2013/2014 cruise season in October 2013," he said.

"When we do the cruise berth development we will need to take into account infrastructure such as roads and parking for coaches, to provide customers with an experience that is up to international standards."

The cruise industry remained a priority for tourism in Canterbury and Lyttelton port would continue to play a role, he said.

"The port will still cater to small cruise vessels that can berth in the port's inner harbour.

"With the new cruise facilities, we have to do it right first time around and we have to be fiscally responsible. It has been a difficult decision, but in the long run it will prove to be the right decision."

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- The Press

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