Roper took part in a panel discussion of leaders from “emerging ports” at the Cruise New Zealand 2017 Conference.
“We feel a real responsibility to ensure that passengers get a warm welcome as they disembark to discover what our region has to offer,” Roper said.
“For that reason, Port Taranaki ensures cruise ships are planned for, catered for and have the required space needed on our wharves.
“We are committed to providing world-class assets and service excellence to support the cruise industry. Evidence of this is our $12 million investment in the soon-to-be commissioned Kīnaki ‘tractor tug’ which, supported by the launch Mikotahi, will be able to guide large cruise ships into dock.”
Port Taranaki also has the advantage of having ShoreTension units, which ensure that should a long period wave event or rough seas occur while a cruise ship is visiting, it does not need to be excluded from port.
Cruise agent feedback from recent callings by the Artania and Silver Whisper in the summer of 2016-2017 has been positive, the port added.
The Caledonian Sky, which accommodates 114 passengers and 74 crew, will call twice this coming season.