2,000 Chinese cruise ship passengers stop over in New Caledonia for the first time!
For the very first time, nearly 2,000 Chinese cruise ship passengers were welcomed to New Caledonia and Noumea during an inaugural port of call by the Costa Atlantica cruise ship on Wednesday 28 December. A special welcome was organised jointly by the High Commissioner, the New Caledonian Government, the South Province, New Caledonia Tourism (NCTPS), the Kenua Shipping Agency, the Port Authority and Costa Cruises. A beneficial meeting which, following the results of the recent Tourism Workshops, marks the beginning of a new dimension in the relationship between New Caledonia and China.
On Wednesday, 28 December, the Costa Atlantica cruise ship, with nearly 2,000 Chinese cruise passengers on board, stopped over in Noumea for the very first time, berthing at the Quai des Conteneurs (the container terminal) from 9am to 9pm. The ship left China on 30 November on a 45-day cruise to discover the South Pacific islands. Once alongside, the brand new cruise passengers received a warm welcome from the We Ce Ca dance group prior to setting off to discover Noumea, its population, its activities and businesses. To finish their visit on a high note, the Malawi and Artiflam fanfare bands played as the passengers re-embarked the ship.
During the morning, guests of the Chinese and New Caledonian delegations were welcomed aboard for a meeting. It should be noted that the Chinese media (Beijing TV) and one of the major Chinese Tour Operators, Caissa (who chartered the ship) were present. Standing next to the High Commissioner, a welcome speech was given by Martine Lagneau, first Vice President of the South Province and President of New Caledonia Tourism. Following this, the Port Authority Harbour Master and the Captain of the Costa Atlantica exchanged the traditional gifts of a plaque in the presence of Miss New Caledonia 2016.
The morning of Sino-Caledonian meetings enabled new links to be forged between the two countries. It demonstrates the firm desire of the government and provincial institutions as well as local tourism to display New Caledonia as a new destination to Chinese tourists, who represent a substantial development potential.