&O Cruises’ Pacific Pearl will sail into history today as she sets off on the cruise line’s first circumnavigation of New Zealand, featuring a maiden call to Stewart Island.
The 10-night cruise is expected to inject more than $3 million into the local economy as Pacific Pearl calls at Napier, Wellington, Christchurch (Akaroa), Picton and Stewart Island, with her 1800 guests also enjoying scenic cruising through Fiordland’s stunning landscapes.
Pacific Pearl’s voyage around New Zealand is one of the highlights of her record five-month season of cruises from Auckland, which commenced early February and will run through to June.
P&O Cruises President Sture Myrmell said the circumnavigation offered a great way for New Zealanders to explore their backyard, while generating significant returns for the economy.
“Not only will guests and crew be busy spending money in each port, P&O is buying fresh produce from local suppliers throughout Pacific Pearl’s New Zealand season, injecting more money into the local community,” Mr Myrmell said.
“Each cruise requires significant quantities of food - for example on a 10-day cruise for guests and crew the ship will take on about 300kgs of fresh local fish, 3000 dozen eggs and around 30,000kg of fruits and vegetables.”
In total, Pacific Pearl will visit 11 different New Zealand ports during the season, which features 20 cruises to New Zealand and South Pacific destinations.
Mr Myrmell said each cruise ship turnaround in Auckland was estimated to deliver close to $1 million to the local economy in passenger accommodation, dining, transport and shopping as well as crew expenditure, supplies and port charges.
Meanwhile visits to regional cities can contribute up to $500,000 in passenger and crew spending.
After sailing from Auckland this afternoon/evening, Pacific Pearl will visit Napier on 3 March, Wellington on 4 March, Akaroa on 5 March, Picton on 9 March and will make her maiden call to Stewart Island on 6 March. Guests will spend the day on the island exploring its natural beauty and stunning features on a series of different tours.