There are no bookings for the new USD 67 million cruise ship berth at Port Lyttelton (Christchurch, New Zealand), ahead of its opening later this month.
The Lyttelton Port Company had planned to finish its new cruise ship berth by November this year, and despite interruptions by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, it will open on budget and on time.
The design was changed in order to ensure there was little impact on marine life (Hector's dolphins in particular), which environment campaigners had been concerned about.
According to Mike Simmers, LPC's infrastructure and property general manager, it was built for the largest cruise ships that come into New Zealand.
The berth is 148 metres long, will include amenities for users, and has a walkway to shelter cruise passengers. It was designed to withstand seismic events as well as ensure vessels are safe from wind and waves.
Despite pandemic's wreaking havoc on building projects across New Zealand, Simmers said that the project was finished on time and under the US$67 million budget, in time for the opening later this month.
However, something outside of their control had not gone their way – cruise ship bookings. Simmers added they had 80+ planned for this season and were now planning for no cruise ships and there might be one or two but were actually planning for zero.
In the meantime, LPC was looking at other uses for the berth until cruises resumed, "including the fishing industry and banana boats."
The historic Lyttelton Lighthouse was put back on the mole, at the start of the berth. Before the September 2010 earthquake, which left it leaning to one side, it had sat on the harbour for 130 years.