New Zealand-based Lyttelton Port Company has unveiled a plan to build a new cruise ship berth within the port situated in Christchurch, near the town of Akaroa.
The proposed berth will be developed through an investment of NZ$56m ($38m), and will be designed to accommodate some of the world’s largest cruise ships such as MS Oasis of the Seas, which weighs 225,282t and can carry around 5,400 people on board.
Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel said: “The cruise ship berth represents a massive investment in the future of Christchurch and the wider region; cruise ships bring a lot of life and economic activity into the city so it is great that Christchurch will have a dedicated facility.
“With Lyttelton unable to host cruise ships for the last few years, cruise ships have been berthing in Akaroa. It has put tremendous pressure on Akaroa.
“I’d like to pay tribute to the community there that has enabled Christchurch to stay connected to the cruise industry. This announcement will bring some relief to them.”
The proposed berth will be funded by Christchurch City Council via the Lyttelton Port Company.
Lyttelton Port Company board chair Trevor Burt said: “This is a huge project for the city and we are happy to be able to bring cruise ships back to Lyttelton in time for the 2019–2020 cruise season.
“The berth will future-proof Christchurch as a cruise destination of choice for the next few decades, with the capacity to accommodate the largest ships coming to our part of the world.”
New Zealand’s cruise ship industry was worth an NZ$484m ($333m) during 2015-2016 and is estimated to grow to NZ$490m ($337m) throughout the 2016-2017 season.
Image: Artist’s impression ofLyttelton Port of ChristchurchCruise berth with MS Oasis of the Seas at berth. Photo: courtesy of Lyttelton Port Company Limited.