Bay of Islands to Welcome Cruise Back to Te Tai Tokerau
Preparations are underway to welcome the first cruise ship since COVID-19 border closures back to the region. The Majestic Princess arrives in the Bay of Islands on Monday, marking Taitokerau’s first international cruise arrival in two and a half years.
“Prior to COVID-19, the cruise industry was worth over $20M to the Far North economy. The return of cruise to Northland provides positive economic benefits which ripple across the region” says Far North Holdings Limited (FNHL) Cruise Representative, Irwin Wilson.
Substantial planning has been undertaken around the upcoming cruise season, with hui facilitated by FNHL and supported by Northland Inc, bringing together MBIE Policy and Tourism teams, Maritime New Zealand, Customs, MPI, New Zealand Cruise Association and local hapū and business community to discuss upcoming cruise ship season operations. Discussions also covered aspects such as health and biosecurity management, and environmental protection.
“The pre-cruise season hui provided a good opportunity for stakeholders and the wider business community to reconnect and restart cruise conversations, focussing on how we can approach the return of cruise by working together”, says Wilson.
The cruise industry have made commitments to give back to the destinations on their itineraries through a renewed focus on destination management and previous support of local restoration projects such as Bay Bush Action and Project Island Song.
Such future-focussed commitments from industry highlight the opportunity which exists for the region, communities and cruise operators to generate positive and sustainable impact, says Northland Inc General Manager of Destination Tania Burt.
“Cruise to the region is highlighted within the Taitokerau Northland Destination Management Plan as a good example of where our region simultaneously needs efforts to manage impacts, develop opportunities and share benefits. Through collaboration, the cruise industry can bring vibrancy through additional visitation and benefits can extend beyond the initial economic boost.”
The arrival of the Majestic Princess opens the summer cruise season, with 53 port calls expected to arrive in the Bay of Islands between October 2022 and June 2023. To mark the return of cruise to, a pōwhiri will welcome the first tender to shore early on Monday morning.
Says Chairman of Waitangi’s Te Tii Marae, Ngati Kawa Taituha:
“We have appreciated the new and ongoing conversations in the lead up to cruise returning to the region, where we have expressed the importance of protection of te taiao and looking after our people. We look forward to extending our manaakitanga with a pōwhiri to welcome visitors to our shores on Monday.”
Further information on the 2022/23 cruise schedule can be found at: https://www.fnhl.co.nz/cruise-ships/
For further information, please contact:
M: 021 1777 110