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Cruise Vessel Brings In More Aussie, New Zealand Tourists

Celebrity Solstice facilities include a theatre with a 1400+ seating capacity and a live grass lawn between the ship’s funnels on the upper deck.
29 Mar 2019 12:50
Cruise Vessel Brings In More Aussie, New Zealand Tourists
Celebrity Solstice departs Lautoka wharf for Suva on March 20, 2019. Photos: Leone Naivalu

More than three quarters of the number of tourists on aboard cruise liner Celebrity Solstice that called into Suva and Lautoka last week were from Australia and New Zealand.

Celebrity Solstice is on a 13-day around the Pacific cruise.

On board the German registered cruise liner are 2778 passengers and 1213 crew members from over 36 countries.

Of that number there were 1361 tourists from New Zealand and 743 from Australia while it berthed into our waters for two days last week.

According to an Economic Im­pact Assessment (EIA) by the In­ternational Finance Corporation, World Bank Group in 2018, cruise industry has become an important source of tourists for Fiji.

The report states that cruise ar­rivals have increased dramati­cally from about 57,600 in 2010 to over 184,400 in 2017 as Fiji receives Australian and New Zealand based cruises, trans-Pacific, and round the world cruise vessels.

Suva was Celebrity Solstice’s second port of call in Fiji when it berthed at Suva’s Kings Wharf last Thursday.

The cruise line had called into Lautoka on Wednesday.

Cruise liner local agents Kenua Fiji Manager Leone Naivalu said the increasing number of tourists from Australia and New Zealand was not new.

“This has not come as a surprise for us, we have always recorded a high number of Australian and New Zealand visitors over the years and we are grateful for the continuous increase in their arriv­als,” Mr Naivalu said.

“This is a testament of the warm hospitality and service that the Fijian people offer while they are here,” he said.

“Many of these visitors are com­ing to Fiji for the second and third time; and that is a positive sign for us.

“We will continue to do our best to provide the best services for these tourists to make their short visit a memorable one.”

According to the vessel’s itin­erary Celebrity Solstice is on a 13-nights round the Pacific tour visiting Samoa, Tonga, Fiji and New Zealand.

On board also were tourists from the Philippines, United States of America, Finland, Romania and Canada.

The vessel left Suva’s Kings Wharf on Thursday March 21 for Apia, Samoa.

About Celebrity Solstice

Celebrity Solstice is the lead ship of the Solstice-class of cruise ships operated by Celebrity Cruises. Built by Meyer Werft in Papen­burg, Germany, she was floated out on August 10, 2008, and chris­tened by ocean scientist Professor Sharon L. Smith at a ceremony in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA, on November 14, 2008.

Externally, Celebrity Solstice looks very different from previ­ous Celebrity Cruises ships. Mar­tin Francis of Francis Design was hired to design her exterior profile. In original exterior renderings, the hull was shown as all-white with powder blue funnels and blue glass upper decks.

In a more recent update, the light blue colour had been changed to Celebrity’s normal dark blue col­our and the hull was shown hav­ing a resemblance to the current fleet’s livery, with the promenade deck painted dark blue.

Her facilities include a theatre with a 1400+ seating capacity and a live grass lawn between the ship’s funnels on the upper deck.

On May 30, 2010 the Celebrity Sol­stice launched the iLounge

Celebrity Solstice is scheduled to be put in dry dock in October 2021.

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