City Reaches Cruise Ship Peak

By ,   January 6, 2017 ,   Cruise Industry

Dunedin reached cruise altitude with the passengers from some large ships filling the streets during city's traditional quiet period.

Ovation of the Seas brought around 4900 on Tuesday, January 3, but close to 8000 will pour off 4 ships over 2 days this weekend.

Ovation of the Seas

A further five ships will arrive next week - on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday - bringing close to 9000 people.

Tour operators say the season is tracking well, but the recent poor weather is doing little to help cash registers ring for some.

Dunedin i-SITE visitor centre manager Louise van de Vlierd said the weather was affecting people in different ways. Those from the northern hemisphere had come from winter and were less troubled by it.

Those from countries such as Australia would choose inside activities, and the likes of opportunity shops did well from people keen to buy cheap warm clothing.

''If they come from the northern part of Australia they are more likely to go to an opportunity shop to buy a jersey, because they're never going to wear it again,'' Ms van de Vlierd said.

The weather did not seem to have deterred people from getting off ships and venturing into the city, she said.

That should mean there will be plenty of tourists in Dunedin at the weekend.

The city was getting better at hosting the visitors, she said.

''We are now, we definitely are - we've learned enough along the way.''

Olveston secretary Christine Mehrtens said the historic home had had a ''constant'' stream of visitors from Ovation of the Seas.

Enough pre-bookings were in for Saturday and Sunday for ''a pretty big weekend''.

Cruise ship cancellations were a downside of the season so far.

Monarch Wildlife Cruises owner Neil Harraway also pointed to the cancellations as a down side, meaning December was not as good as hoped.

The weather, too, had an effect. There was an up side, however, with southerly winds ''great weather for albatross''.

''With the southerly wind they fly really well - the stronger the better.''

There was also shelter from the wind at Taiaroa Head.

''The only trouble is trying to persuade people to go out in it.''

Larnach Castle sales and marketing manager Deborah Price said the bad weather did not help the business.

A big part of the castle was its garden, and there was a definite correlation between bad weather and fewer visitors.

The castle had ''very good'' pre-bookings from the ships for the weekend.

It would be ''amazing, if the sun were a bit more consistent''.