Otago Daily Times

Cruise ship, Rus­sian crew ready to sail

- Cruises · Oceania News · Travel · Wellington, New Zealand · New Zealand · Lyttelton · Russia · Iceland · Spiritairlines

WELLINGTON: The Govern­ment should look at the ef­fect on the tourism sec­tor, not just the ma­rine in­dus­try, when grant­ing bor­der ex­emp­tions, a New Zealand cruise com­pany says.

Her­itage Ex­pe­di­tions is the first com­pany to be granted ex­emp­tion to bring a pas­sen­ger ves­sel into New Zealand wa­ters.

The Spirit of En­derby, which is an old re­search ves­sel, ar­rived at Lyt­tel­ton Har­bour this week from Rus­sia af­ter get­ting per­mis­sion from the Govern­ment to en­ter.

The 22 Rus­sian crew com­pleted manda­tory quar­an­tine on the way to New Zealand and were tested this week be­fore be­ing al­lowed to come ashore.

Her­itage Ex­pe­di­tions director Aaron Russ said the ship would do nine trips this sum­mer, three around Fiord­land and Ste­wart Is­land and the rest to the Subantarc­tic Is­lands.

‘‘It’s pretty much the same as a reg­u­lar sea­son. We have adapted things a lit­tle bit as we are only car­ry­ing New Zealan­ders . . .

‘‘We carry 50 peo­ple on each cruise and we are at over 80% full al­ready,’’ he said.

Mr Russ said they had to jump through a few hoops to get an ex­emp­tion, which was mostly fo­cused on pro­vid­ing busi­ness to the ma­rine in­dus­try.

He said it was sur­pris­ing none of the ex­emp­tion de­ci­sions took ac­count of the huge ef­fect the cruises would have on the tourism sec­tor.

The Spirit of En­derby will leave for Bluff next week, where it will de­part on its first cruise. — RNZ

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