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Compare: 12 Cruise Ships in New Zealand

Contributor
Tiana Templeman

Last updated
Oct 10, 2019

Read time
5 min read

New Zealand is home to towering mountains, award-winning wineries, adrenaline-pumping activities and cultural experiences. With more than a dozen mainstream ships plying New Zealand's waters from October to April, passengers certainly have a lot of choice.

This chart features a representative from the major lines, including Holland America, Princess, Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Celebrity, Regent Seven Seas, Oceania, Crystal, Silversea, P&O and Seabourn. Each of the 12 ships caters to a different type of traveller. Families on a budget might find the most 'bang for their buck' onboard Carnival Legend, while couples looking to splurge can pamper themselves with Crystal Symphony's lavish suites and all-inclusive fine dining.

Familiarise yourself with the different itineraries and exclusive New Zealand offerings to determine which cruise is best for you.


On This Page

1. Majestic Princess

Princess Cruises' Majestic Princess offers a fresh take on 'The Love Boat' line. Fleetwide staples such as Movies Under the Stars and a partnership with the Discovery Channel, which offers a slew of activities for adults and kids alike, are paired with exciting new features such as six private karaoke suites, a fully-equipped TV studio and a glass walkway that suspends passengers over the ocean. All outside cabins have balconies so you can take full advantage of New Zealand's stunning scenery.

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2. Noordam

You won't find any rock climbing walls or quirky pool games on Holland America's refurbished Noordam, which prides itself on dining and a relaxed, traditional cruising experience. Service and food quality in the complimentary main dining room are top notch, but for-a-fee restaurants such as Pinnacle Grill (which now features a Sel de Mer seafood pop-up venue once per week) are good for a romantic dinner. The ship tends to appeal to a more mature crowd, though you will see more families and multigenerational groups on New Zealand cruises, especially during school holidays.

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3. Norwegian Jewel

Norwegian Jewel offers 10 free and for-a-fee eateries, almost a dozen bars and lounges and a range of accommodation options -- from inside cabins to suites in The Haven, the line's signature 'gated community'. If you love singing, this 2,376-passenger ship does not disappoint with a karaoke lounge featuring mood lighting and three private karaoke rooms. The lively dance floor in the Spinnaker Lounge features everything from ballroom and line dancing to pulse-pounding dance music.

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4. Radiance of the Seas

With a variety of dining venues, great kids' programs and adrenaline-pumping activities, Radiance of the Seas offers Royal Caribbean's best in a more modest size, compared to its bigger megaliners. This 2,112-passenger ship features the line's much-loved Italian restaurant, Giovanni's Table, as well as Izumi for Japanese cuisine, an outdoor movie screen, rock climbing wall and a nursery for babies and toddlers. Passengers range from young couples and singles to families and active retirees.

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5. Celebrity Solstice

Celebrity Solstice has one of the best interior architecture designs at sea. While the ship's passenger-to-space ratio is standard for the industry, the ship never feels crowded. Celebrity is known for its fabulous dining and bars, but perhaps the most unique feature is the Lawn Club with a half-acre of real grass on the top deck offering some of the best views onboard in a fun, relaxed atmosphere. The space includes games such as bocce and mini-golf, and is perfect for soaking up the sun when the weather permits. Celebrity typically attracts sophisticated young adult and middle-aged couples, though you'll notice more families during school holidays.

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6. Carnival Spirit

Full of Carnival's Fun Ship touches like the Camp Ocean kids' club and the Green Thunder water slide, [Carnival Spirit (/reviews/review.cfm?ShipID=176) is great value for families on a budget. The 2,124-passenger ship offers a variety of free restaurants, activities and entertainment. Munch on celebrity chef Guy Fieri's famous burgers or a burrito from BlueIguana Cantina for no extra charge. Competitive families also will enjoy Hasbro, the Game Show, during which groups can compete against each other in a series of games for a chance to win prizes.

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7. Regent Seven Seas Voyager

Every cabin on the 700-passenger Voyager is a suite with a balcony. The upshot: this is an all-inclusive luxury ship attracting both mature couples and affluent families. Passengers shell out up front, but enjoy included amenities such as: a pre-cruise luxury hotel stay; shore excursions; specialty restaurants; alcoholic beverages; and gratuities.

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8. Oceania Regatta

Oceania prides itself on fine dining and an upscale yet comfortable ambiance -- and Regatta is no exception. The 684-passenger ship features the creations of celebrity chef Jacques Pepin in the main dining room and two surcharge-free specialty restaurants. No formal nights mean the pressure to dress up for dinner is dictated by fellow passengers, not the cruise line. Regatta offers an experience that's close to luxury without being all-inclusive or priced sky-high. Passengers tend to be mature and well-travelled.

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9. Queen Elizabeth

Cruising in New Zealand with Cunard is a royal affair on the 2,081 passenger Queen Elizabeth, with New Zealand voyages of up to 14 days available during the ship’s season Down Under. Traditions such as different restaurants for different classes of passengers, set dining times and high tea served by white-gloved waiters hark back to the Golden Age of cruising.

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10. Pacific Dawn

With a maximum of 1,546 passengers, this ship offers a more intimate mainstream New Zealand cruise experience than most other lines. Plenty of fun can be found at the P&O Edge Adventure Park and at the ship's lively bars, especially after the sun goes down. Free dining options abound but specialty restaurant Salt Grill by Luke Mangan is worth the splurge. Pacific Dawn is a hit with cruisers of all ages who appreciate this ship's smaller size and low-key, casual vibe combined with modern Australian style.

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11. Silver Muse

The 596-passenger Silver Muse is Silversea's newest ship. As an intimate, all-suite, all-inclusive luxury vessel, it has one of the most generous space-to-passenger ratios in the industry. There's also a crew member for every 1.3 passengers. Suites are larger than the industry norm, and bathrooms include double-basin vanities, Bvlgari amenities, full bathtubs and separate showers. Attracting mostly older adults, Muse also features high-quality dining and included extras like complimentary drinks.

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12. Seabourn Encore

Seabourn Encore offers an all-inclusive, luxury cruise experience and itineraries packed with scenic cruise areas and lesser-known ports. Even better, you don't have to worry about missing any of the views, as all the ship's cabins face the outside. Restaurants and public spaces are opulently designed, but the 600-passenger ship maintains a comfortable, country club vibe.

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