In June, the Lyttelton Port Company broke ground on its cruise berth development project. Pile driving work is underway and expected to continue until early 2020. The berth is due for completion in late 2020 and will be ready for the 2020-2021 cruise season, according to Simon Munt, marketing manager.
This coming season, the New Zealand port is set to host 19 cruise vessels, double the number of last season.
The outlook is positive, helping support the investment in a dedicated cruise facility.
“The new cruise berth will be the first custom-built cruise ship facility in New Zealand designed to accommodate the world’s largest cruise vessels. The new berth will be complemented by the existing facilities that can accommodate smaller cruise vessels so we will be able to accommodate two ships on any particular day,” said Munt.
“The berth is part of our long-term plan to ensure the port can serve the region’s future needs,” he continued. “This new facility will provide an attractive arrival experience for visitors and a boost for Canterbury’s tourism industry as well as retail businesses in Christchurch.”
Lyttelton was unable to host cruise ships immediately after the 2011-2012 earthquakes in Christchurch, and the ships called at Akaroa instead.
Smaller cruise vessels returned to Lyttelton in 2012. The beginning of the new berth’s construction phase signals a significant step in the return of larger cruise ships to the port.