Ponant won’t be cruising in New Zealand in February as Immigration New Zealand has denied entry to crew members aboard Le Laperouse at the last moment.
Ponant has thus been forced to cease its plans to bring Le Laperouse to New Zealand, offering domestic cruises for locals only.
“Ponant was granted permission to operate by the Ministry of Health, in consultation with other Departments, in late December 2020, only to be denied entry by Immigration New Zealand at the last moment prior to arriving in New Zealand,” said a statement from the New Zealand Cruise Association (NZCA).
NZCA CEO Kevin O’Sullivan said: “This cruel blow will be even more keenly felt within our harder hit regional communities. Now all opportunity has gone for this season and with it the small glimmer of hope that we all had. The industry has been abandoned by our Government.”
NZCA said it has requested meetings with Tourism Minister Stuart Nash since he has taken office but requests so far have been deferred.