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New Lyttelton cruise ship berth to be built

1 May 2017

A new $55 million dollar cruise ship berth will be built in Lyttelton with the plans released by the Lyttelton Port Company today.

The new berth will be the first custom built cruise ship facility for Christchurch and will be able to accommodate some of the largest cruise liners from around the world.

“The cruise ship berth represents a massive investment in the future of Christchurch and the wider region,” says Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel. “Cruise ships bring a lot of life and economic activity into the city so it is great that Christchurch will have a dedicated facility.

The cruise ship berth represents a massive investment in the future of Christchurch and the wider region

Lianne Dalziel - Christchurch Mayor

“With Lyttelton unable to host cruise ships for the last few years, cruise ships have been berthing in Akaroa. It has put tremendous pressure on Akaroa. I’d like to pay tribute to the community there that has enabled Christchurch to stay connected to the cruise industry. This announcement will bring some relief to them.

“I would also like to acknowledge the tremendous amount of work that has gone into both the cruise ship berth and the wider Lyttelton Port Recovery Plan so far.”

The cruise ship berth has been designed to accommodate cruise ships of the size of the world’s largest, the MS Oasis of the Seas. The ship is:

  • 362 metres long;
  • weighs 168,666 tonnes; and
  • carries around 5,400 people

Lyttelton Port Company Board Chair Trevor Burt says, “This is a huge project for the city and we are happy to be able to bring cruise ships back to Lyttelton in time for the 2019–2020 cruise season,” Lyttelton Port Company board chairman, Trevor Burt says.

“The berth will future proof Christchurch as a cruise destination of choice for the next few decades, with the capacity to accommodate the largest ships coming to our part of the world.”

The cruise ship industry was worth $484 million to the New Zealand economy in the 2015–2016 year and is forecast to grow to $490 million in the 2016–2017 season.

“The cruise ship industry is continuing to develop rapidly with a dynamic increase in the volume of guests visiting New Zealand, so it’s important that Christchurch has the facilities to offer a gateway to the Canterbury region for all ship sizes,” Cruise New Zealand Board Member Tony Petrie says.

“Before the earthquakes cruise ships were able to berth in Lyttelton, and bringing this facility back to Lyttelton by way of a custom built cruise pier will provide an attractive arrival experience for cruise ship visitors and a boost for Canterbury’s tourism industry as well as retail businesses in Christchurch.”



  • A Council working party was set up to investigate options for hosting cruise ships in Lyttelton
  • A business case was prepared to assess the public value of a cruise ship berth
  • Christchurch City Council made the decision to fund the project through the Lyttelton Port Company and the Christchurch City Council will continue to receive the current level of dividend from the Lyttelton Port Company