The New Zealand Government has reneged on a promise that it would reopen borders and reconnect to the world in the first quarter of 2022 on the condition that the country’s population was 90% fully vaccinated, says the chair of the Tourism Export Council of New Zealand (TECNZ).
Scott Mehrtens who is also managing director of Leisure Time Travel, says this week’s announcement around borders was really just a tinkering of the MIQ situation for returning New Zealanders.
Heritage Expeditions is confident its new flagship, Heritage Adventurer, will be sailing New Zealand waters late next year.
Heritage Expeditions commercial director and expedition leader, Aaron Russ has been in Europe this month checking on progress with the ship and is now back in Christchurch self isolating.
A leading proponent of expedition cruising says he is already hearing from cruise lines that the PONANT debacle this week may put them off visiting New Zealand in the future.
Aaron Russ, general manager Wild Earth Travel, says the PONANT cancellation had the feel of ‘pure politics’ and that contrary to some claims Immigration New Zealand was fully consulted while the cruise line went through the protracted and drawn out process of gaining health clearance and maritime exemption to operate here.
Heritage Expeditions is confident the 50-passenger ship Spirit of Enderby will be operating cruises for New Zealanders around New Zealand by late November.
The company's commercial director, Aaron Russ says all clearance and exemption requirements, including Ministry of Health clearance, have been received for the ship to be in New Zealand on the basis of the plan submitted by Heritage Expeditions.