The Celebrity Solstice will dock at the Port of Tauranga on Saturday the 30th of March for an overnight visit.
The occurrence is the last overnight stay for the 2018-2019 cruise ship season.
Bay of Plenty locals will get the chance to connect with cruise ship passengers travelling onboard the Celebrity Solstice at a special event in Mount Maunganui on Saturday.
Little Big Events is putting on a Street Food Union event to mark the significant occasion for the region.
Tourism Bay of Plenty Chief Executive Officer Kristin Dunne says cruise ship passengers are vital to the economy.
“I’m delighted that the Celebrity Solstice has visited the Bay of Plenty ten times this season as it shows the continued reputation of Tauranga and the region as a favoured cruise destination.
“Cruise ship activity brings significant benefits to the Bay of Plenty including the $66m boost the economy received during the 2017-2018 season. More than 50 per cent of passengers stay in the local area.”
“The New Zealand Cruise Association estimates that up to 25 per cent of cruise passengers return to a region as free independent travellers. Cruise passengers are truly ‘destination samplers’ looking for those special places that they would like to come back to.”
“The welcoming spirit of our locals ensures the Bay of Plenty experience remains world-class for our visitors so that they continue to return to our region.”
Forecasts prepared for Tourism Bay of Plenty predict that the 2018-2019 cruise ship season will bring $91 million into the local economy.
This season is the Bay of Plenty’s largest yet with 115 ships expected including nine overnight visits, 25 double ship days and two triple ship days.
The 115 ships will bring an estimated 326,922 passengers and crew to the region.
The Port of Tauranga is the only port in New Zealand to welcome the Celebrity Solstice overnight due to the passengers’ ease of access and proximity to a local township, and the popular evening tour experiences.
With 121,878 gross tonnage, the Celebrity Solstice is a large, modern ship that carries 2,850 passengers and 1,116 crew for a ratio of one crew member to every 2.5 passengers.
Her gross tonnage makes the Celebrity Solstice the third largest ship to visit the Port of Tauranga during the 2018-2019 cruise ship season, after the Ovation of the Seas (168,666) and Majestic Princess (144,216).
Celebrity Cruises undertake several environmental initiatives to reduce their ships’ carbon footprint. The ships utilise solar power, advanced wastewater purification systems, ban plastic straws, and partner with the World Wildlife Fund.
The Celebrity Solstice is expected to dock in Tauranga at 9.45am on Saturday the 30th of March and will depart the following evening at 5.45pm on Sunday.
What: Street Food Union for locals and cruise ship passengers
Where: Coronation Park, Mount Maunganui
When: Saturday the 30th of March
This is a one-off weather permitting event. Event details can be found on Facebook via this link: https://www.facebook.com/events/406845183376619/.