Debbie Summers Debbie Summers

Cruise NZ: 'Cautious optimism'

After two years of closed maritime borders, this week’s news that cruise ships can return to Aotearoa’s waters without restrictions from 31 July has been greeted with a sense of cautious optimism and relief, says the New Zealand Cruise Association.

The Prime Minister’s announcement that the maritime border will reopen without added restrictions means cruise lines can start confirming port calls and preparing ships with certainty, says the association’s chair Debbie Summers.

‘New Zealand is an important destination for cruise lines and with worldwide demand for cruising strong again, combined with excellent regional dispersal, this sector ticks every box for value.

‘After two years of hardship, hundreds of Kiwi ship suppliers and tourism operators can start rebuilding their businesses back, helping communities that have suffered during our pandemic years and begin preparing with confidence to provide our top service to cruise visitors.’

Summers says after such a long absence of cruise ships from our shores, opening the maritime border is only the beginning.

‘To ensure the cruise sector is delivering a fantastic visitor experience will require commitment and hard work from ports, inbound tour operators, Regional Tourism Organisations, local tour operators, and the thousands of people in every region who work to make our immersive cruise experiences a success.’

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