From some of the largest and newest cruise ships to a flotilla of the most luxurious at sea, New Zealand is now sailing into its biggest summer cruise season, local cruise associations revealed.
Data compiled by CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association) Australasia and New Zealand Cruise Association showed that NZ is set to receive a total of 975 port calls from 41 cruise liners this summer, of which maiden visits from 7 ships.
The bumper season kicked off on September 30 with the first international vessel of 2018-2019 season, Princess Cruises’ Majestic Princess, sailing into Fiordland National Park. During the 6-month maiden season, the ship will make a total of 88 visits to NZ ports.
Ponant’s new 184-passenger Le Laperouse will make her maiden visit to New Zealand February 14, 2019, and will become a regular visitor across North and South Islands as she makes 41 calls to Kiwi ports during her itineraries between Auckland and Dunedin between February and April.
MSC Magnifica will also call in New Zealand for the first time March 2019, bringing Italian glitz.
Guests who prefer luxury will be spoilt for choice via ships from Crystal Cruises, Seabourn, Silversea, Oceania and Regent Seven Seas returning to New Zealand. When Silver Muse visits NZ in January and February 2019, she will be the first new Silversea vessel to visit the region in 10 years. The luxury ship is due to make 22 visits to New Zealand ports.
Among the local flotilla, P&O Pacific Explorer will sail on her first cruise across Tasman in November 2018, and Pacific Aria is scheduled to arrive in April for a maiden season of voyages from Auckland.
According to recent statistics, almost 100,000 New Zealanders took a cruise in 2017 and cruise ship tourism is worth hundreds of millions per year to the local economy.