New Zealand is becoming the next destination to permit a limited resumption of cruises starting in February 2021.
NZ's Ministry of Health has granted conditional approval to Ponant Cruises (France) to restart operations in New Zealand but the voyages will be limited only to NZ residents.
Ponant responded thanking the country's officials and calling it a major first step. The company had been in dialogue for months with officials in both Australia and New Zealand hoping to open a regional "travel bubble." And while Australia remains closed to sailing, Ponant announced it looked forward to the opportunities in NZ and believed those actions took them "closer to the time when borders re-open and cruising resumes.”
Ponant revealed it will deploy the ship Le Laperouse in New Zealand for around the islands itineraries. Introduced in December 2017, the vessel has max passenger capacity 264 (184 lower berths) plus 110 crew-staff. The luxury ship is currently at anchorage off Jakarta Indonesia.
Ponant initially resumed service in the 2020 summer, mostly with roundtrips from France and voyages to Europe's Arctic territories. The French premium company also owns the brand Paul Gaugin Cruises which operates exclusively in French Polynesia and also resumed passenger shipping during summer 2020.