Port News: Lyttelton cruise season off to great start
Watch Video of Royal Princess in Lyttelton

The Lyttelton cruise season got off to a great start with the arrival of the Royal Princess in the first week of November with 3500 guests plus 1300 crew. 

 Seventy-nine cruise vessels are due in Lyttelton Port this season, and this was the first test of a new transportation plan to get the passengers off the ship in a timely fashion and into downtown Christchurch and not have the number eight buses overrun with passengers seeking a cheaper journey into the city. 

 LPC Head of Customer Relations Andrew Todd said operations on the berth ran smoothly, getting guests directly into the city.  

LPC Chief Executive Graeme Sumner (middle) meets the Master of the Royal Princess  Andrew Spinardi (right). Photo / LPC

 “Down at the wharf, we had three loading zones, one for the Christchurch shuttle for Christchurch attractions and independents, a second for Shorex operators, including the Gondola Express, and a third for the Lyttelton shuttle,” said Andrew Todd. 

Following a pricing review this season, passengers are being offered a more affordable return bus ticket from the berth to the city comparable to the cost of catching public transport, alleviating the transport issues faced last year.

At a public meeting in June this year, residents voiced their concerns that the township needed help to cope with thousands of tourists, clogging the footpaths and toilets and overrunning the public buses.

Royal Princess at the cruise berth at Lyttelton Port. Photo / LPC

“The challenge we faced as a port was that together with all the key stakeholders, come up with a solution that was best for all concerned and, most importantly, the residents in Lyttelton.” 

Last week, thirteen hundred passengers caught a shuttle directly into Christchurch from the berth while 300 passengers and crew used the free shuttle into Lyttelton.

“Feedback for Lyttelton has been very positive; while there were markedly fewer passengers in the township, there appear to be no issues with buses, with some visitors walking around the township and making small purchases,” says Andrew Todd

A number of passengers did use Norwich Quay, with most guests accessing the independent tourist operators. In contrast, a small number used the number eight bus, but there was plenty of capacity to meet any extra demand.

LPC is looking at improving operations at the cruise berth for the next two cruise ships to streamline passengers exiting the ship directly onto the shuttles, alleviating delays to their desired tourist destination and activities as quickly as possible. 

Click here to watch video of Royal Princess in Lyttelton

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