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Tonga recorded a 30% increase in number of cruise ships arrivals

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 18/01/2017

Tonga has recorded a 30% increase in cruise ships arrivals compared to 10 years ago.

A spokesperson for the Tonga Ports Authority said, 10 years ago only about 8 cruise liners arrived in Tonga but in 2016 more than 20 cruise ships visited the Friendly Islands.

The schedule for this year is 21 cruise ships.

This is because Tonga is becoming more popular overseas and Vuna Wharf is more reliable now for International cruise liners.

In previous years, cruise ships hardly visited the kingdom but last December, 4 different cruise liners berthed at Vuna Wharf with more than 1000 passengers in each ship.

The cruise liners are mainly from Europe, Asia and Australia.

Though they were only in Tonga for few hours, they were able to visit the historical sites, beach resorts and the famous Tongan village in Popua due to the uniqueness of their presentations of Tongan culture and lifestyle.

More than TOP$10,000 is paid to the Ports Authority while the cruise ship berths at the wharf.

This morning, the first cruise ship to dock at Vuna Wharf this year was the Sea Princess from the United States which travels to countries in the Southern Hemisphere.

More than 1800 passengers including crew members are enjoying the beauties of Tonga before the Sea Princess departs for Samoa around 2 o’clock this afternoon.

On another development, the District Officer of Nuku’alofa, ‘Alotaisi Takau said, a cleaning campaign will begin this month aimed a to keep the Nuku’alofa Area clean at all times especially when cruise ships are in town.

He said, there’s a need to keep Vuna and Taufa’ahau Roads clean and beautiful when tourists are in Tonga.

There are 15 suburbs within the Nuku’alofa Area.

© Radio and Television Tonga News