Wellington Scoop

Record season ends for cruise ships – 110 visits, 200,000 passengers

News from CentrePort
More ships, more visitors and more money for the Wellington and regional economy have marked a record cruise ship season that finishes today.

The arrival of the Radiance of the Seas, which was the first ship of the 2018/19 season to berth back in October, registers the 110th visit of the season. That beats the previous record of 90 cruise ship visits set in 2012/13.

CentrePort Limited CEO Derek Nind is proud of the way the port tackled the logistical challenge that included berthing two cruise vessels on a single day on 24 occasions.

“Significant planning, efficient processes and the hard work of our CentrePort team supported by our partners including WREDA meant we were able to handle the busiest cruise ship season in the city’s history.

“From our pilots and tug boat crews, lines teams through to the cruise team – they all did a great job. Given the port is still managing the impacts of the 2016 earthquake including reduced berth capacity, it has been a remarkable effort,” said Nind.

The Capital welcomed over 300,000 visitors, including 220,000 passengers. The tourists enjoyed exploring the city and the surrounding region, with businesses and excursion providers benefiting.

Mid-January was the busiest period of the season, with 10 ships in a week, delivering 17,500 passengers.

Wellington is likely to continue to benefit from the global growth in the cruise industry, with more than 120 cruise ship visits expected.

WREDA General Manager David Perks says the 2018/19 cruise season was worth an estimated $56 million to the local economy.

“One of WREDA’s most important cruise season functions is making sure visitors are well informed so they can make the most of their time in the city. That’s done through 150 volunteer Cruise Ship Ambassadors and our iSite staff who have been busier than ever in their cramped MFC-based facility.

“Following the departure of the Radiance of the Seas – which marks the start of the slower winter tourism season – the iSite will close so it can be reconfigured to triple the space for visitors in plenty of time for next summer.

“During the closure, the Department of Conservation has kindly provided space on the ground floor of its Manners St office for WREDA to continue providing its core iSite services,” Mr Perks says.


  1. Chris Horne, 22. April 2019, 19:39

    Many people will welcome the end of the cruise-ship season. Some will even be hoping that it is the end of cruise ship visits. Among their reasons will be:

    1. a reduction is the emissions of fumes from marine diesel and bunker fuel fouling our city’s air and thus our lungs – the ships’ engines keep running while the vessels are berthed;
    2. more buses will be available for Wellington commuters, now that the urban bus-service operators are not having to provide buses and drivers for “CRUISE-SHIP SHUTTLE” duties.

    World-wide, the cruise-ship industry is a massive contributor of the CO2 emissions which are causing catastrophic global warming and sea-level rise. This is on top of the garbage and sewage thrown over-board from the vessels once they are beyond our three-mile limit. In every way, the cruise-ship industry is one that Planet Earth does not need and cannot cope with. There is no PLANET B.

  2. Tim Jones, 23. April 2019, 17:52

    Well said, Chris! Those ships are floating factories for the production of CO2 – and like international aviation, they have managed to escape any responsibility for their emissions.

  3. jamie, 23. April 2019, 19:15

    Chris i agree. Have you ever asked where does all the waste water go from the people on these ships? They dump it outside the 12 mile zone where there are no rules, after pretending to treat it on board. Tourism is great the environment yeah right.