A large new cruise ship planned for Australia and New Zealand run was deferred in part due to poor port facilities.
Cruise New Zealand executive officer Kevin O'Sullivan said it was disappointing to learn that the new 4200-passenger ship planned for P&O Cruises Australia, the first planned specifically for the region, would not go ahead.
Lack of infrastructure progress was cited as one of the reasons for deferring the build.
"The decision by P&O is a wake up call that we must get our act together to improve cruise infrastructure if we are to continue to enjoy the benefits that cruise tourism brings," he said.
"Auckland must provide a berth for larger cruise ships urgently, and Lyttelton should proceed with bringing cruise ships back, to ensure Canterbury does not miss out on this large tourism market," Sullivan said.
Sullivan said it would have to anchor in the harbour with passengers ferried on tenders to the Viaduct area.
Installation of a mooring "dolphin" to allow larger new generation cruise ships to berth off the end of Queen's Wharf was supposed to be in place next summer.
But a consent application for the structure had been delayed, and it was now uncertain when the dolphin would be in place, he said.
"We have huge opportunities to continue to grow cruise tourism and we are missing out because of delays in providing infrastructure," said Sullivan.