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The arrival of the Sea Princess tomorrow kicks off a busy cruise ship season for Akaroa which will see the town the country’s busiest cruise ship port this summer.
Black Cat Cruises Managing Director Paul Bingham said 86 cruise ship visits were expected to bring close to 200,000 visitors to Akaroa and that the town had prepared well to cope.
“It will be our busiest cruise season ever and we are very prepared for it. Since the earthquake Akaroa has been the main port of call for cruise ships visiting Canterbury and the local community is committed once again to make sure disembarking passengers get a warm welcome and are well catered for.”
Black Cat Cruises has invested over $50,000 in refitting its two retail shops in Akaroa in time for the summer tourism and cruise ship season.
Bingham said the company was very pleased with the refurbishment. Both of Black Cat Cruise’s retail shops, located on the Main Wharf and on Beach Road in Akaroa, had improved lighting and new graphics and made much better use of available space.
“We are ready and the town is ready. Cruise ship passengers will inject valuable money into our local economy in challenging times.”
Cruise ships are expected to pump more than $30 million into Christchurch and Akaroa. Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism (CCT) plans to survey cruise ship passengers this season to document their on shore activities and spend.