Facing hard conditions off the headlands overnight the vessel turned north to sail up the country and on to Wellington, where she was expected to arrive Thursday morning.
A spokesperson for the Lyttelton Port Company said the Ovation OTS had been unable to berth "due to strong north-west winds in the forecast for the day."
The ship made the decision not to call just after 7 am. Passengers were due to disembark at 9:30 am.
The call at Lyttelton was part of an 11-day New Zealand Cruise roundtrip from Sydney (NSW Australia).
On arrival in NZ last week Ovation OTS confirmed she was sailing with 100+ confirmed cases of COVID aboard. Royal Caribbean said in a statement that the positive cases had to isolate in their quarters for 5 days with daily antigen tests.
For more Ovation of the Seas incidents and accidents see the ship's CruiseMinus page.