Media release

Busy day for buses with 7,000 cruise ship passengers arriving

Monday 13 November 2023

Thousands of visitors are expected to arrive in Dunedin this week with the second day of the cruise ship season bringing more than 7,000 passengers to Port Chalmers on the Ovation of the Seas and Carnival Splendor on Friday (17 November).

ORC’s Manager Transport, Lorraine Cheyne says “Cruise season is a welcome economic boost for the city and our local businesses, but it also means increased demand for bus services. We know this affects West Harbour residents so to help ease pressure on services for locals, the ORC will be running extra bus services to and from Port Chalmers on busier days.”

“With the expected high demand, we’ll be running nine extra buses services to or from Port Chalmers on 17 November. Timed with the arrival of the ships, a bus will leave Port Chalmers every 15 minutes between 8.30-10.30am and leave the city for port every 15 minutes between 3-5pm. While this will help, it will still be a very busy day and people should expect queues and wait times for buses. However, as this is one of our five busiest days, we will also have additional Orbus staff to support the boarding of buses.”

To ensure there is room for locals at later stops, all regular services are required to leave Port Chalmers with some capacity. Cruise passengers heading back to Port Chalmers on the public bus will be encouraged to catch it from outside Centre City New World in Cumberland Street where drivers have also been asked to leave with capacity for passengers at later stops.

Again, as Friday will be one of the busiest days of the season people may also want to consider taking an earlier or later bus.

“Following issues with the extra buses on the first day of the cruise season, we’ve been working hard with our contractor to ensure a smoother day this time. We’ll be doing our best, but people should be realistic – there will be a lot of people wanting to catch Port Chalmers buses.”

Cruise passengers are encouraged to use private buses offered by their ships, but many choose to take the public bus instead.

“We’ll continue working closely with Port Otago and the West Harbour Community Board during the cruise ship season,” says Ms Cheyne.

People can stay up to date by downloading the Transit App, following the Orbus Dunedin Facebook page or visiting the ORC website.