Cruise from Auckland

MSC cruise ship sailing past Auckland, New Zealand

What you need to know about cruising from Auckland

  • Man standing atop Mangere Mountain in Auckland, looking out at the city
  • Cruise ship sailing past the city of Auckland, New Zealand
  • Bearded man wearing a backpack staring out at the ocean from atop a grassy cliff

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Frequently asked questions

From Auckland, cruises fan out all over the world. You can make a loop around New Zealand’s two islands, visiting popular ports like the Bay of Islands, Tauranga (Rotorua), Wellington, Napier, Christchurch and Fiordland. Many cruises also visit Australia, sailing to Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne or Tasmania. The islands of the South Pacific sit directly north of Auckland, so you can cruise to Noumea, Vanuatu, Fiji, the Cook Islands or French Polynesia. Auckland is also the starting point for Transpacific or world cruises, which will take you across the globe.


Many big, family-friendly ships depart from Auckland with lots of fun facilities, kids’ clubs and engaging entertainment onboard. For example, P&O Cruises Pacific Explorer regularly sails from Auckland and has a swimming pool, waterslides, barefoot bowling green, video game arcade and the awesome P&O Edge Adventure Park, with rock climbing, a flying fox and the heart stopping Walk the Plank.


You can set sail in style from Auckland. Some of the world’s most luxurious cruise lines will depart from Waitematā Harbour, offering spacious suites with private verandahs or terraces, world-class dining, free flowing drinks, indulgent wellness spaces and attentive staff who are always on hand. Look for the gorgeous ships from Silversea, Seabourn, Regent Seven Seas, Ponant, Crystal Cruises and Oceania.


Check in times for your cruise will be staggered to cut down on wait times for passengers. The process varies across different cruise lines, but you will be allocated a check in time based on your cabin or given the option to choose a check in slot when you book or through the cruise lines’ app. At a minimum you will need to be at the cruise terminal at least one hour before the ship is scheduled to depart – remember, they won’t wait for you!


Cruise ships use one of two wharves in Auckland, Queens Wharf and Princes Wharf, right next to each other in Auckland Harbour. If your cruise is round-trip from Auckland, you’ll return back to the same area in the harbour. One-way cruises will depart from Auckland and finish at another destination.


Cruises start from just three or four days, visiting a single port in New Zealand or simply spending time enjoying your ship at sea. Longer cruises lasting from one to two weeks will take you on a loop of New Zealand’s islands, to the South Pacific or to Australia. Committed cruisers can even set out from New Zealand on a world voyage, which will take at least three months.


You’ll never get bored – or hungry – on a cruise departing from Auckland. These modern liners are packed with things to keep the whole family entertained, from swimming pools and waterparks to sports courts, games room and fitness centres. You can take some time out with a treatment in the spa or relax with a book in the library. At mealtimes, choose between the main dining room, the buffet and multiple other restaurants serving everything from cake and coffee to sushi or pasta. Entertainment will range from big budget Broadway-style musicals to live bands, trivia, comedy and interactive game nights.


They sure do! From Auckland, you can celebrate the life of Elvis Presley around the Marlborough Sounds, dance to your favourite 80s hits or don your cowboy boots for a country music cruise. Other cruises can also be themed around interests like food and wine, wildlife, or history.


No, there is no parking available at the cruise port itself. You can book a secure spot at the Britomart Carpark or the Viaduct Carpark. Both are around 10-15 minutes’ walk from the wharf.


Cruises sail from Auckland year-round, but the most popular season is during the warmer months from October to April.  December, January and February are the busiest months, with the most ships in port and cruises departing almost daily. Only a handful of cruise ships will be in New Zealand during winter, though it’s a great time to take a sunny break from Auckland to the South Pacific. 


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*Travel restrictions & conditions apply. Review any specific conditions stated and our general terms at Terms and Conditions. Prices & taxes are correct as at the date of publication & are subject to availability and change without notice. Prices quoted are on sale until the dates specified unless otherwise stated or sold out prior. Prices are per person.