The first cruise ship in 2+ years arrived in Nelson port (New Zealand), bringing tourists from Australia and the USA.
Seabourn Odyssey docked in Nelson NZ on Wednesday morning, marking the first of 7 cruise ships scheduled to visit the region between now and the beginning of March 2023.
Tracee Neilson (Nelson Regional Development Agency’s visitor destination manager) welcomed passengers at a pop-up i-SITE on Trafalgar St.
The vacationers were at the tail end of a 65-day voyage that started in Vancouver BC Canada.
Due to the long journey time, only 10% of the cruise passengers had pre-booked tours which ranged from Abel Tasman excursions to helicopter tours. However, a number of travelers were keen to explore the port city and beyond, with some heading on walks in the Grampians, and others visiting the Nelson Classic Car Museum, the Cathedral, Jens Hansen, and Höglund Glass.
According to Stats NZ figures in the year ending June 2020, a total of 283,000 cruise passengers visited New Zealand, spending $547 million. ~6000 of these cruisers visited Nelson, making the season the best yet.
The COVID crisis put the brakes on foreign cruise ship arrivals. The last vessel docked in Aotearoa in March 2020.
The 7 anticipated cruise ship calls meant a potential 3000 visitors which equated to ~$1.5 million in economic benefit for the Nelson-Tasman region.
The vessel is due to leave Nelson later on Wednesday night, with New Plymouth its destination.