New Rarotonga jetty to boost cruise passengers’ shore visits
The picturesque Cook Islands receive some 33 international cruise ships on average each year bringing in between 10,000 and 15,000 international visitors. <!--more-->
[caption id="attachment_4173" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="New Rarotonga jetty to boost cruise passengers’ shore visits"]<a href="https://pacifictradeinvest.com/PTI/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Rarotonga1.jpg"><img class="size-full wp-image-4173" title="Rarotonga1" src="https://pacifictradeinvest.com/PTI/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Rarotonga1.jpg" alt="" width="300" height="200" /></a>[/caption]
But not all cruise passengers are able to enjoy walking on the beautiful shores of the country and enjoy its culture, cuisine and other delights.
This is because cruise ships normally off-load passengers on tugboats before transporting them to the main port in Avatiu Harbour. Due to bad weather conditions or rough seas, some ships are forced to cruise elsewhere as the existing infrastructure is inadequate to safely land passengers.
According to Mike Henry, Chairman of the Ports Authority, “concerns were raised by captains of the ships’ inability to board passengers due to prevailing weather conditions and it was recommended to develop a suitable jetty to address this problem.” After long discussions over several years, a decision to build a jetty in the Puaikura district was taken and last week, on November 2, the facility was finally inaugurated.
The new jetty will allow cruise ship passengers to safely board and disembark. It will also help increase the cruise ship capacity to the Cook Islands resulting in new business opportunities for Cook Islanders. Additionally, the facility will provide ease of access to ocean waters for local fishermen.
Cook Islands Ministry of Infrastructure and planning built the Puaikura jetty with financial assistance from New Zealand Aid.
Among cruise ships that regular call in the Cook Islands are Rotterdam, Bremen, Paul Gaugin, Westerdam and Columbus. Passengers on these ships will now be able to gain easier access to the country’s shores boosting tourism and private sector development, thanks to the new jetty.