Auckland Looking to Big Season with Majestic Princess

Four Ships in Auckland

The news is good in New Zealand as the Ports of Auckland are expecting what it calls a significant increase in cruise ship calls this coming season, 131, up from 113 a year ago.

“We are predicting over 285,000 passengers for the current season and would expect to see this rise to over 320,000 next season,” said Leigh Robins, manager, marine and cruise operations.

Among the highlights will be the Majestic Princess, which will become the largest ship to ever visit Auckland, with Princess also using the port for a full turnaround operation.

Shorepower discussions are ongoing, said Robins, adding there is also continued discussion in terms of adjusting infrastructure to accommodate larger vessels. The first phase of that will be when the port gets the go-ahead from the Auckland Council for two new mooring dolphins which will enable ships over 330 meters in length to dock.

“Our biggest challenge at the moment is infrastructure and the desire for cruise lines which want to deploy their larger ships into this region,” Robins continued. “Auckland is currently the only port unable to accommodate the (larger) cruise ships alongside. Hopefully within the next two to three years this challenge will be resolved.

“We more or less operate on a first book, first serve basis in regards to which cruise terminal the vessel is given,” continued Robins. “Queens Wharf is our primary cruise terminal and Princess Wharf the secondary terminal.  Both have full passenger processing facilities. There are some vessels that can only go to one terminal due to gangway positioning and therefore the schedule is worked to accommodate those requirements.”

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