Panuku Development Auckland has applied for resource consent for upgrades to Queens Wharf in order to provide for the safe berthing of cruise ships up to 362m (Oasis Class Vessels).
The upgrades involve construction of two mooring dolphins located at distances of 49m and 82m (to the centres of the dolphins), to a total length of 90m, from the end of Queens Wharf into the Coastal Marine Area, a gangway connection to Queens Wharf including hydraulic retractable gangway and security gates, strengthening of the southern end of Queens Wharf, seven new additional wharf bollards on the eastern side at the southern end of Queens Wharf, and additional fender clusters on the eastern side at the north end of Queens Wharf.
Cruise tourism is a rapidly growing component of the tourism sector in Auckland and New Zealand. Over the last decade and a half, the numbers of tourists undertaking a cruise in New Zealand has grown by 13% per annum. Auckland is New Zealand’s cruise hub, being the main port capable of hosting exchange visits, where cruises start and finish. Cruise vessel visits to Auckland continue to increase in number, alongside increases in vessel size.
Auckland’s current cruise terminal facilities are unable to safely handle the newer extra-large vessels (Quantum or Oasis class). Recent visits to Auckland by an extra-large vessel (quantum-class Ovation of the Seas) with plans for future expansion in the number of visits it makes, resulted in the need for an immediate solution to accommodate these vessels. There are two potential immediate solutions for accommodating extra-large vessels: Do Nothing (status quo tendering) or the development of Mooring Dolphins with a gangway at the end of Queens Wharf.