What is the best time to cruise New Zealand?

As I’m planning the trip to New Zealand for me and the boys, I’m looking into whether our itinerary should include a cruise. That gets me wondering what the best time is to cruise New Zealand?

The ideal time to fully enjoy the wonderful cruise experience would be in the peak summer months which include December, January, and February. It is important to note that the cruise season begins early in the month of October. The climax of the events winds up during late April. Between the month of May and September, the place only receives a small number of ships. During July it’s seldom to meet people enjoying a cruise trip.

You should expect light showers at any moment since New Zealand enjoys an even distribution of rainfall throughout the year. There’s a local joke that in New Zealand you can experience all four seasons in one day. Most of the country is close to the coast and you should expect mild to cool temperatures unless it’s far north where there are sub-tropical weather conditions.


New Zealand summer and winter

The south island could experience extremely cold temperatures of about -10 Celsius (14 degrees Fahrenheit) during winter. Between the month of January and February, it’s when you get to enjoy the warm temperatures. It is also important to note that the temperature in New Zealand falls as you move south. The average temperature experienced in most parts of New Zealand during the summer ranges between 20 and 30 Celsius.

Always prepare to tackle any form of weather by packing the ideal attire to protect you against harsh weather conditions. Since summer makes the ideal time to visit New Zealand. You should expect more traffic around the major tourist destinations and spots which also include resorts. New Zealand also welcomes more than 25 cruise ships that visit the coast.

Most cruises that ferry between New Zealand and Australia provide you with an opportunity to travel to both South and North Islands. Departure happens in Auckland in New Zealand. The cruise visits some of the interesting destinations such as Tauranga, Fiordland, Auckland, Christchurch, Napier, and Dunedin.


New Zealand Cruise Lines

When it comes to cruising, New Zealand is not as attractive as its neighbor Australia and the seasons are short due to the generally mild climate. (It is cold outside in the summer months). In other words, most tourists stay on a cruise. The Carnival Corp cruise visits during the peak season. Some of the cruise lines include The Holland, Cunard, America Line, Seabourn, and Princess.

Royal Caribbean, Dream Cruises, and Celebrity Cruises cross New Zealand every summer. Ships regularly ask for instructions from around the world before the start of the season. Most summer trips to New Zealand begin in Sydney or Auckland. Another Royal Caribbean Cruises Limited line, Azamara, operates a detailed itinerary of 14 nights or more through New Zealand. The ships Crystal, Regent, Silversea, Oceania, and P&O Cruises will be arriving shortly for major Pacific cruises or cruises around the world from December through January. Ponant offers itineraries in New Zealand.

Woman on a cruise trip in the summer months in New Zealand
Cruise Trips in New Zealand. Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels


Although Australia concentrates more on cruise trips compared to New Zealand the cruise line becomes busy during the peak season. The season is also shorter and a monotonous climate condition. During winter it becomes cold which is indicated in most of the ship itineraries. The most common cruise lines that regularly visit New Zealand include Pacific Dawn, Pacific Aria, Holland America Line, P&O, Cunard, and Seabourn.

You’ll also enjoy the cuisines that use the Southern Islands to the Antarctic Islands, while others visit small kiwi sites such as White Island, Stuart Island, or Kaikoura. The other cruise lines include the National Geographic Orion, and the Caledonian Sky of Noble Caledonia, which are chattered by Zegrahm Expeditions and ATP. All these cruise lines come with different rates and prices depending on the features and distance of the trip. If you are working with a budget make the ideal choice and pick the affordable option.


New Zealand travel tips

You don’t need a visa to travel to New Zealand. The country has a visa waiver system. This means that those in a long list of countries staying three months or less will not need a visa to enter the country. Countries on the list include Australia, most European countries, and the United States. However, if you have a UK passport and can provide proof of UK residency, you can stay for up to six months.

Alongside the cruise, enjoy a walk on the beach unless you are not excited about the difficult turn. If possible, spend a full day on the beach in the capital. For example, visit the Waitakere Range in Welland, west of Wellington, or Kaitoke Region Park, which Lord of the Rings fans may recognize as Rivendell. If you do a preliminary investigation, private operators can work.

You must go to both pre and post cruising expeditions. If you look forward to quenching the New Zealand cruising experience beyond just sailing, ensure you do it before and after cruising. You will get to enjoy fantastic places and destinations where famous movies were acted that include The Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit trilogy that was filmed in over 250 locations in New Zealand. Plan adequate time to visit some major cities such as Kingstown in the South Island and Rotorua in the North Island.

If you are planning a cruise trip to New Zealand, regardless of the month, always bring enough clothes and rain gear to help you keep warm during harsh weather conditions. This is especially important when traveling to the northern and southern islands, including the southern part of Fordland. Even in midsummer, the temperature of the fjord is cool.