11 cruise ships coming to town

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The World is cruising to Nelson this summer.

And the Europa, Seabourn Sojuorn and Hanseatic.

The four cruise ships have confirmed that they will visit the region this summer and Nelson Tasman Tourism expects that trend to continue.

NTT international marketing manager Loren Heaphy says four cruise ships have booked to come to Nelson this summer with another seven the following year. Each of the ships carries around 400 passengers and is seen as at the “high end” of the market.

To be allowed on the Europa ship – which is arriving here on Boxing Day this year – each passenger must have a net worth of at least $5 million, with each cabin worth around $300,000 and monthly costs at $30,000.

Loren says these passengers spend a lot of money and NTT has worked hard for several years to work with local operators and to develop a package that suits their needs.

That could include a trip to the Abel Tasman, staying a night in a luxury lodge or shopping on Trafalgar St.

She says the possibility of a 2000 person ship visiting Nelson in the future is very real with Port Nelson now able to host ships that size. “We haven’t got any that size yet but we are working very hard on it and once we get one, and if we host it well, we’ll get a lot more.”

Lynda Keene, CEO of Nelson Tasman Tourism, says Nelson is increasingly becoming a viable competitor with other national ports. “Nelson is renowned internationally as a premium tourist destination, and attracting more cruise ships to the region has been high on our list of priorities.”

She says the region has a strong reputation in hosting cruise ships after last summer and she sees the market growing over the next few years. “Last week we hosted one of the largest inbound tour agencies in the region to help with cruise ship package development and the agent was very impressed with what the region has to offer.”

Nelson mayor Aldo Miccio says the region will benefit from an increasing number of ships visiting the region. “Nelson Tasman Tourism and Port Nelson have done a great job in helping to attract more cruise ships to our region. My aim is to work with local retailers, Uniquely Nelson, Port Nelson and Nelson Tasman Tourism to see if we can put together some packages that encourage visitors to stay within the CBD, and revitalise that economy.”