For the first time four cruise ships are berthed at Akaroa at the one time. It’s a momentous occasion and one which hasn’t fazed those involved in ensuring the safe entry and exit of each vessel into the harbour.
“There haven’t been this many cruise ships in Akaroa all at once before so it has been a bit of a balancing act when planning which ship would berth where,” says Environment Canterbury’s Regional Harbourmaster Jim Dilley.
“Our priority is that each ship has a safe arrival and departure. Part of this means we need to determine who’ll be last into port and so the first to leave; we don’t want large vessels dodging around each other.
“The arrival of the ships went smoothly this morning and I don’t anticipate it to be any different when they leave this evening.”
Mr Dilley explains that along with the safe entry and exit of the vessels he is also required to in oversee the safe manoeuvring of boats within the harbour. This includes the tenders, or smaller boats, that transport passengers from the cruise ships, to land, and back again.
“There are only two wharves available for the four sets of tenders from the ships, with local tourism operators and recreational craft also using them. While there is potential for a little congestion, everybody appears understanding of the situation and is willing to share.”