The majority of cruises from New Zealand depart from Auckland, the country's biggest city. What better place to start your cruising adventure from than the "City of Sails"? It offers the perfect balance between natural beauty and big city atmosphere. Explore the viaduct area with stunning views of Rangitoto Island and the Hauraki Gulf, take a stroll along Mission Bay's beaches and waterfront promenade, or visit Queen Street, Auckland's main shopping spot featuring a large number of high-end fashion shops. Auckland is also famous for its vibrant cafe and restaurant scene so kick back and treat yourself to some delicious culinary experience before you are cruising off to your next destination.
P&O Cruises - P&O Cruises is an Australian cruise line with five fantastic ships servicing Australia and New Zealand. Equipped with Australian power outlets and operating in Australian dollars, this laidback line is a favourite for Antipodean travellers. Fun loving and forward thinking, this local line is making a play for the next generation of cruisers.
Princess Cruises - Princess, with its ‘love boat’ origins, is one of the most well known cruise ship brands in the world. Choose this line if you are looking for that little extra bit of luxury without an exorbitant price tag. Princess is known for delivering a high quality cruise experience including exceptional rooms, excellent dining and entertainment options and a vast range of cruise departures and destinations. Princess will have you ‘come back new’ when you cruise with her from Auckland.
Celebrity Cruises - Celebrity cater for passengers of all ages and offer a great range of restaurants and entertainment options. This elegant cruise line makes you feel special no matter if you opt for their Penthouse suites or a modest cabin. You will get a taste of luxury cruising from Auckland to Australia, Europe and beyond when you cruise from Auckland with Celebrity.
Holland America - Holland America cruises strike a perfect balance between traditional design and modern luxury. This cruise line offers its passengers adventurous itineraries and excellent entertainment both onboard and onshore. Their growing presence and popularity in New Zealand speaks for itself.
Cunard Cruise - Cunard offers a truly royal cruising experience on three very luxurious vessels. Taking you on a journey back to the golden cruise ship days, the exceptional service and overall glamorous feel will have you enjoying yourself from departure to arrival. Let Cunard take you on a journey far beyond your travel destination.
Norwegian Cruise Line - Norwegian are very different from your average cruise line. They offer passengers a completely customisable experience, allowing you to choose everything from different types of entertainment, dining experiences and dress code, to destinations and schedules - Norwegian lets you create your cruise out of Auckland the way it suits you best.
Destinations - Where can you sail to on a cruise from Auckland?
Most cruises from Auckland offer a variety of domestic and international destinations as per below:
New Zealand - Depart from Auckland on a 3-day Food and Wine or Comedy cruise for a weekend getaway. Or discover New Zealand's most stunning landmarks and destinations around both the North and South Islands on a more extensive holiday. Prepare yourself for breathtaking scenery and adventure packed excursions when you cruise from Auckland.
Australia - Cruise from Auckland directly to Sydney or Brisbane, include Tasmania or, alternatively, travel up the entire East Coast or along the South of Australia and visit the Northern Territory and Western Australia. A cheap cruise departing Auckland is a great way to explore Down Under.
South Pacific - Many cruises out of Auckland take you directly to paradise. Choose your favourite island getaway and sail straight to Tonga, Fiji, Vanuatu or a combination of a couple of tropical islands. This is where dreams come true.
Passenger numbers - How many New Zealanders go cruising?
According to Cruise Line International Association (CLIA), the size of New Zealand's cruise sector has increased by 65 per cent within the last five years and with the promise of more ships and cheaper fares, the industry forecast continues to look bright.
Between 2015-2016 the cruise sector added $484 million in value to NZ's economy with a record of 66,152 New Zealanders taking cruises in 2015. Figures show that New Zealanders spent about 680,000 days at sea and represent one in only three countries that recorded a double-digit increase in cruise numbers compared to previous years.
Capacity of ports - Where are Auckland’s cruise terminals located and what is their capacity?
•Auckland Cruise Terminal - Queens Wharf and Princes Wharf
Cruising from Auckland is a very pleasant and stress-free experience with both Queens Wharf and Princes Wharf conveniently located right in the heart of Auckland's downtown. The lack of capacity to accommodate ever increasingly large ships and a greater cruising demand however, is putting pressure on the city to make way for Auckland’s burgeoning cruising industry. Talks of new terminals and infrastructure are a regular feature in the media but no solid plans are in sight.
The wharves fantastic, easy-to-get-to location makes these terminals an ideal place to board your cruise. With stunning views of Rangitoto Island and the Hauraki Gulf and plenty of cafes and restaurants around, you will find it easy to occupy yourself while waiting for your cruise departures from Auckland. Both wharves enjoy easy access to ATMs and convenience stores should you need to make any last minute purchases. All public transport including ferries, trains, buses, and taxis is situated within a 5-minute walk from both wharves and there are short-term car parks and designated pick-up-bays right outside for easy access to the cruise port.
How to get to the Cruise Terminal
Both Cruise Terminals can easily be accessed by all forms of transportation.
From the airport
• It takes approximately 30-40 minutes by car or taxi outside of peak-hour traffic.
• Trains and buses leave/arrive at “Britomart Transport Centre” which is located right across the street from Queens Wharf, and only a 5-minute walk from Princes Wharf.
From the ferry terminal
• The Downtown Ferry Terminal is located right between Princes Wharf and Queens Wharf.
• Taxi ranks are located at both cruise ship terminals.
Both bus and train terminals are located right opposite the wharf and can be reached within a short walk. Please note that Queens Wharf can only be accessed via left turn from Quay Street.
• Princes Wharf: Public access to the wharf is permitted for pick-up and drop-off only. Parking is restricted.
• Queens Wharf: Public access to the wharf is permitted for pick-up and drop-off only. There is no public parking permitted on the wharf.
• Public parking facilities are available at the Downtown Carpark, Viaduct Carpark, and Britomart Car Park.
• Short term luggage storage is available at the Ferry Terminal (entrance Queens Wharf) during opening hours.
• Long term storage is available at the Transport Centre Britomart (entrance Commerce Street) during opening hours.
Weather - What is the best time to cruise from Auckland?
Cruise passengers should prepare for “four seasons in one day” as Auckland is known for its changeable weather but temperatures are moderate all year round with an average of 23 degrees Celsius during the warm and humid summers and an average of 14 degrees Celsius during its mild, rainy winters.
• Get a cruise deal and escape Auckland’s grey and rainy winter months (June to August).
• Peak season and busiest time for tourists is during summer months (December to February).
• The shoulder seasons of March through May and September through November provide mild temperatures and fewer crowds than summer.