Lyttelton Port won’t accept bookings for new cruise season
BUSINESSDESK: Lyttelton Port Co, the South Island's biggest port operator, will not be taking bookings for the majority of cruise vessels in the 2013-14 season after the region's earthquakes put plans for a new cruise berth on hold.
In March, the Christchurch-based port announced it was deferring plans to build the berth after a review of development projects found the quakes had forced design changes driving the cost up by 40% to $20 million.
The port, which is 79.3% owned by Christchurch City Council's holding company, first flagged a purpose-built cruise berth facility in 2010.
"Given the complex nature and the limited timeframe it will be challenging to meet the opening of the 2013-14 cruise season," chief executive Peter Davie says.
"When we do the cruise birth development we will need to take into account infrastructure such as roads and parking for coaches, to provide customers with an experience that is up to international standard."
The port is still accepting bookings from small cruise vessels which can be berthed at its inner harbour.
In August, Lyttelton Port reported a 40% increase in annual earnings to $17 million as it benefitted from a growing volume of imports for the city's rebuild and increasing log exports. Revenue climbed 14% to $104.5 million.
Its shares are down 4.5%, trading at $2.10.