The enormous Celebrity Solstice attracted a score of tourist buses at the cruise ship terminal in Wellington at 8a.m. this morning.
At the time she was launched in 2008, after costing $US750m to build, she held the record for the largest cruise ship ever built in Germany.
The cruise ship carries 2850 passengers and 1500 crew. She is scheduled to carry out four more cruises between Australia and New Zealand in the first three months of the new year.
The Celebrity Solstice left Wellington at 6pm. Wellington on one of its best days would have made a very good impression on the passengers.
News from Positively Wellington Tourism – October 7, 2013
Today’s arrival of the 2500-capacity ship Radiance of the Seas kicked off the start of a seven month cruise season for the capital. Over $36 million is estimated to be injected into Wellington’s economy this season following the forecast visits of over 140,000 passengers.
Positively Wellington Tourism (PWT) Chief Executive David Perks says increased cruise ship numbers have encouraged the city’s tourism operators to adapt.
“Over the past five years, cruise ship visits to Wellington have increased 131%, with visitors spending on average of $130 per passenger while docked in the coolest little cruise capital in the world.”
He says it’s great to see Wellington’s tourism operators embrace this.
“From introducing tours to time in with ship schedules, or employing more staff to help cover double cruise ship days, many of the capital’s businesses are making the most of the opportunities this sector offers.”
Alongside the Wellington Cable Car and Te Papa, a popular attraction for cruise visitors is the Weta Cave.
“In addition to the Cave, Weta introduced a Window into Workshop tour earlier this year which offers visitors the chance to gain exclusive insight into the creativity and imagination that goes into crafting the art of Weta.”
The tours run seven days a week and are expected to be very popular this cruise season, says Mr Perks.
PWT will continue to facilitate shuttle services for cruise lines without their own services and the Wellington City Ambassadors are back in full force. However this year, they’ll don new yellow and black uniforms, sponsored by Resene, as part of the coming together of the city’s wider visual identity.
“Yellow is synonymous with Wellington. Our teams dress in it, our buses are painted in it, and now visitors to the city will be greeted by our city’s ambassadors wearing it.”
Positively Wellington Tourism (PWT)
PWT is the regional tourism organisation for Wellington. It is a council-controlled organisation primarily funded by Wellington City Council through the Downtown Levy, a targeted rate paid by commercial ratepayers in downtown Wellington.
Wellington Tourism statistics
• Visitors spend over $3,166 in the Wellington region per minute – over $1.6 billion every year. (Source: Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment, Regional Tourism Estimates, YE March 2012).
• Over four million visits are made to Wellington every year: 750,000 international and over 3.4 million domestic. (Source: Ministry of Economic Development Regional Tourism Data).