After the COVID lockout of 2+ years, New Zealand will fully open its borders starting from 11:59 p.m. on July 31, 2022, with cruise ships allowed to come back to ports on the same day.
According to New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, the opening of New Zealand to the world was 2 months earlier than the previous time frame.
The news that cruise ships are soon returning to New Zealand ports with no restrictions was greeted by the cruise industry with optimism.
CLIA Australasia welcomed the confirmation that the maritime border of New Zealand would reopen ahead of the upcoming cruise season beginning in October 2022.
CLIA Managing Director Australasia Joel Katz said the announcement was a huge breakthrough for the many New Zealanders who depended on cruise tourism, "including travel agents, tour operators, food and produce providers, port workers and many other industry suppliers."
“The suspension of international cruising over the past two years has had a huge impact on the New Zealand travel industry and we now have an opportunity to work on a revival.”
The reopening means that cruise companies can start confirming port calls and preparing cruise ships with certainty, New Zealand Cruise Association Chair Debbie Summers said.
“New Zealand is an important destination for cruise lines and with worldwide demand for cruising strong again, combined with excellent regional dispersal, this sector ticks every box for value.
After two years of hardship, hundreds of local suppliers and tourism operators can start rebuilding their businesses, helping communities that have suffered during the past two years.
The long absence of cruise ships means that the opening of the borders is just the beginning of rebuilding the cruise sector which will require a commitment and extremely hard work from ports, tour operators, and local suppliers."