A $56 million cruise ship berth to be built at Lyttelton will ensure Christchurch remains a destination of choice for the growing cruise ship industry.
The Lyttelton Port Company (LPC) announced plans for the berth today.
It will be the first custom built cruise ship facility for Christchurch and will be able to accommodate some of the largest cruise liners from around the world.
Christchurch City Council made the decision to fund the project through LPC after a business case was done to assess the public value of a cruise ship berth.
“The cruise ship berth represents a massive investment in the future of Christchurch and the wider region,” said Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel.
“Cruise ships bring a lot of life and economic activity into the city so it is great that Christchurch will have a dedicated facility.
“With Lyttelton unable to host cruise ships for the last few years, it has put tremendous pressure on Akaroa. I’d like to pay tribute to the community there that have enabled Christchurch to stay connected to the cruise industry. This announcement will bring some relief to them.
“I would also like to acknowledge the tremendous amount of work that has gone into both the cruise ship berth and the wider Lyttelton Port Recovery Plan so far,’’ Ms Dalziel said.
LPC Board Chair Trevor Burt said the company was happy to be able to bring cruise ships back to Lyttelton in time for the 2019–2020 cruise season.
“The berth will future proof Christchurch as a cruise destination of choice for the next few decades, with the capacity to accommodate the largest ships coming to our part of the world,’’ Mr Burt said.
The new cruise berth has been designed to accommodate one of the world’s largest cruise ships, the MS Oasis of the Seas. The ship is 362 metres long, weighs 225,282 tonnes and carries around 5400 people.
The cruise ship industry was worth $484 million to the New Zealand economy in the 2015–2016 year. In the 2016-17 season its worth was expected to grow to $490 million.
“The cruise ship industry is continuing to develop rapidly with a dynamic increase in the volume of guests visiting New Zealand, so it’s important that Christchurch has the facilities to offer a gateway to the Canterbury region for all ship sizes,” said Cruise New Zealand Board Member Tony Petrie.
“Before the earthquakes cruise ships were able to berth in Lyttelton, and bringing this facility back to Lyttelton by way of a custom built cruise pier will provide an attractive arrival experience for cruise ship visitors and a boost for Canterbury’s tourism industry as well as retail businesses in Christchurch.