Our People: Victoria Takes the Helm: ‘Cruise’ Control at the Port

Victoria Allen has enjoyed her role over the summer as LPC Cruise Coordinator at the port.

Swapping a desk near the CEO for a portacom on the Cruise Berth, there have been no free lunches as she welcomed passengers to Christchurch.

“I have had a few canapés with the Captain during a large number of traditional plaque exchanges,” said Victoria Allen.

Eighty-six cruise ships this season

Eighty-six cruise ships will call at Lyttelton this season carrying over a hundred thousand visitors plus a few interesting guests.

“We had a cat that was smuggled onboard in Hawaii that made its way here via Sydney. It was picked up by MPI here at Lyttelton and transported off the ship to the Cat Animal Quarantine Services near the airport.”

Victoria says cruise days can start as early as six in the morning and end as late as eight at night, depending on departure times, and she is guaranteed to work the weekends.

“It’s been great to get out of the office and work with other teams from across the port, including Security, Civil, Marine and Lines crews.”

Six ships originally scheduled for Lyttelton shifted to Timaru with the Christchurch transportation change announcements but were convinced to return.

The weather has also played ball this season

“We’ve only one cancellation due to weather and one due to hull biofouling. A lot of other ports have had many cancellations due to weather,” says Victoria.

Victoria admits she is not sure if she has caught the cruise bug just yet.

“I could be keen to try one out to see what the actual onboard experience is like, but it would need to be on one of the smaller, more boutique cruise vessels” she says.

With the cruise season ending on April 8th, Victoria plans to take a quick break before getting stuck into some much-needed home renovations.

“While I’d love an overseas holiday, what I really need is a new kitchen.”

The cruise season for 2024/25 kicks off in late October.

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