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Farewell the first cruise ship of the season

The MS Maasdam cruise ship will arrive in Tauranga on October 6. File Image/SunLive.

Tourism Bay of Plenty are encouraging members of the public to make an event out of farewelling the first cruise ship of the 2019/2020 season.

The 2019-2020 cruise ship season begins on October 6, with the arrival of the MS Maasdam. The 220m long vessel will dock at the Port of Tauranga on Sunday October 6 at 7am and will depart at 6.30pm.

Tourism Bay of Plenty is inviting locals to give the vessel and her passengers and crew a warm send-off to showcase the friendly nature of the Bay of Plenty.

Tourism Bay of Plenty chief executive officer Kristin Dunne encourages residents to come down to Pilot Bay from 6pm to farewell the MS Maasdam as she embarks on the next part of her voyage.

“I’d love to see locals bring a picnic, maybe some fish and chips, watch the sunset, wave off our first cruise passengers for the season, and enjoy the start of summer.

“Daylight savings have started, as well as the school holidays, so what a fantastic way to kick off those long summer evenings.

“The Bay of Plenty is renowned for its manaakitanga and we want our cruise passengers to feel that welcoming spirit,” says Kristin.

The temporary Satellite Mount Maunganui i-Site Visitor Information Centre established for the last two cruise seasons will also be erected in time for the MS Maasdam’s arrival. The Satellite i-Site will be located next to the Port of Tauranga entrance to service both cruise passengers in between their disembarkment and embarkment, and other visitors in Mount Maunganui.

Initially, the Satellite i-Site will be open from 10.30am to 4pm on cruise ship days. From mid-December until late summer, the Satellite i-Site will be open seven days a week, excluding Christmas Day.

Cruise ship activity brings significant benefits to the Bay of Plenty including the $90.3m boost the economy received during the 2018-2019 season. Last season Tauranga had the second largest total spending by port in New Zealand.

This season our region will welcome approximately 306,461 passengers and crew from 112 ships including 25 double ship days, one triple ship day, and four overnight stays.

At 55,575 gross tonnage, the MS Maasdam will bring 1258 passengers and 580 crew.

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