Port Taranaki is committed to providing world-class assets and service excellence to support the cruise industry, chief executive Guy Roper says.
Mr Roper took part in a panel discussion of leaders from “emerging ports” at today’s Cruise New Zealand 2017 Conference. This is the first time Port Taranaki has participated at a Cruise New Zealand conference
Prior to the conference, Roper highlighted that, as the gateway to the region, Port Taranaki is prepared and ready for more cruise ships.
“We feel a real responsibility to ensure that passengers get a warm welcome as they disembark to discover what our region has to offer,” Roper said.
“For that reason, Port Taranaki ensures cruise ships are planned for, catered for and have the required space needed on our wharves.
“We are committed to providing world-class assets and service excellence to support the cruise industry. Evidence of this is our $12 million investment in the soon-to-be commissioned Kīnaki ‘tractor tug’ which, supported by the launch Mikotahi, will be able to guide large cruise ships into dock.”
Port Taranaki also has the advantage of having ShoreTension units, which ensure that should a long period wave event or rough seas occur while a cruise ship is visiting, it does not need to be excluded from port.
The port’s wharf and marine service teams, supported by a dedicated customer relationship manager, were also proven in their ability to deliver a superior customer experience, Mr Roper said.
Cruise agent feedback from recent callings by the Artania and Silver Whisper in the summer of 2016-17 has been positive. In an article in the Taranaki Daily News in February 2017, Artania captain Jarle Faltebo praised Port Taranaki’s “very professional pilots and tug boats”, which he said meant there were no problems entering or leaving port. The Artania carried 850 passengers and 540 crew.
The Caledonian Sky, which accommodates 114 passengers and 74 crew, will call twice in the summer of 2016-17, initially on 23 December and again on 2 February.
Roper said the Cruise New Zealand Conference gives Port Taranaki a valuable opportunity to highlight its assets and the region, with the aim of securing more bookings for summer 2018-19 and beyond. Part of this is collaborating with Venture Taranaki to proactively promote and market the unique points of difference Port Taranaki and the region has to offer the cruise industry and tourism.
“The lead-in time for planning for vessel visits can be quite long. For example, the largest cruise ship to visit here last season, the Artania, was confirmed almost three years before it arrived. The opportunity to be at this year’s conference and talk with operators and then plan ahead, is important in increasing overall visits to Taranaki,” Roper said.
Post conference, Port Taranaki will
be working with key industry stakeholders with the aim of attracting more cruise ships to the region.
“We enjoyed attending the Cruise New Zealand Conference and hopefully encouraging more cruise ships to visit in the future. The cruise ship sector provides great potential for the Taranaki economy, particularly our local businesses and tour operators,” Roper said.