Sixteen ships from Australasia’s biggest cruise operator — one more vessel than last cruise season — will sail here with Princess Cruises’ flagship, Majestic Princess, having her maiden arrival on 30 September. The 405 port calls are made up of 392 visits and 13 turnarounds – 12% more calls than last season’s 362 and a fivefold increase on the 85 calls a decade ago during the 2008-2009 cruise season. Top New Zealand port calls for Carnival Australia fleet ships during the season are Akaroa (56 calls), Fiordland National Park and Dunedin (55), Tauranga and Wellington (52 each), and Auckland (48). Five ships will be making maiden calls to local ports.
Princess ships will sail 37 cruises here featuring a record 232 port calls and ten maiden port visits for three ships – Sun Princess to Picton, Pacific Princess to Stewart Island, and Majestic Princess’ eight maiden calls to Fiordland National Park, Dunedin, Akaroa, Wellington, Tauranga, Auckland, Bay of Islands, and Napier. Three of Majestic Princess’ 14 cruises here will originate in Auckland. P&O Cruises’ Pacific Explorer does her first cruise to New Zealand with seven maiden calls to Bay of Islands, Auckland, Tauranga, Napier, Wellington, Akaroa, Dunedin and Fiordland National Park. Pacific Jewel, will visit on an 11-night cruise departing Melbourne late December 2018 prior to her farewell from the P&O Cruises fleet in March 2019. And just before the season wraps up, Pacific Aria will arrive in Auckland on 9 April to be home ported through to August.
Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Legend and Carnival Spirit will have a combined total of 12 calls to NZ ports. Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth has two cruises to New Zealand from Australia and Queen Victoria will visit on her 107-night world cruise with calls to Tauranga, Auckland and Bay of Islands. Holland America Line’s Noordamm, Maasdam and Amsterdam will make 73 port calls with maiden visits to Kaikoura, Gisborne, New Plymouth and Nelson. Seabourn’s Encore and Sojourn will showcase the line’s biggest ever Australasia season. Seabourn Encore has four maiden calls at Waiheke Island, Napier, Gisborne and Nelson and will sail two 16-night NZ circumnavigations. Meanwhile, Seabourn Sojourn will visit Auckland and Bay of Islands during her 128-day Great Oceans exploration.