insights from the ultimate cruising team

Naturally New Zealand

Naturally New Zealand

Indications are that the New Zealand Government will allow cruise ships back into New Zealand waters for the 2022/2023 summer season – and we can’t wait!

Here’s the thing about NZ:  It is simply so incredibly diverse and has so much to see, do and experience, it’s hard to pack it all in to just one or two weeks!  The North and South Islands are completely and utterly different – it’s almost like being in two different countries – and they’re both absolutely beautiful and well worth visiting.  This is why cruising is a really good option here.


New Zealand cruises will often combine both North and South Islands and your travelling is done at night so during the day, you’re in a new town and ready to explore.  Self-driving New Zealand is great, but the roads are often windy and bumpy and travel time can be longer than expected.  Driving from Queenstown to Milford Sound, for example, takes around 3.5 hours each way, through some very winding roads.  Add to that considering the fact that there is high rainfall in the area and the roads may well be wet and slippery, doesn’t arriving into Milford Sound by ship, fresh and ready to cruise the fiords sound infinitely better?

Some areas in Fiordland can only be accessed by boat, meaning cruise ships can sneak in from the coastline whereas those coming from Te Anau or Queenstown have to take two lake cruises and a bus trip to get there. 

Cruises in New Zealand’s South may also take in Stewart Island which is a true treat!  Getting to Stewart Island as part of a South Island road trip is not as easy as it may seem so being able to duck in there as part of South Island cruise is an opportunity not to be missed. 

In the north, arriving into the Bay of Islands via cruise ship is simply spectacular.  Sparkling waters dotted with gorgeous islands, perhaps with dolphins following in your wake – it’s far more relaxing than driving up from Auckland.  Further down, cruising means you can spend one day discovering Maori culture, geysers and mud pools and the next sipping award winning wines in the Hawke’s Bay.  Simply divine!

We have a range of New Zealand cruise itineraries on offer, whether it is just a South Island, a North and South combo or a South Island and Sub-Antarctic adventure.  Check out some of the options here or call us to speak with one of our Ultimate Cruising experts who can take you through the options.

Main Image:  Coral Expeditions