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New Zealand cruising to restart, border to fully open two months early

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced that the opening date for visa-required travellers to enter New Zealand is being brought forward to 11:59pm on 31 July 2022 – and that pre-departure testing would be dropped by the same date. 

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced that the opening date for visa-required travellers to enter New Zealand is being brought forward to 11:59pm on 31 July 2022 – and that pre-departure testing would be dropped by the same date. 

“New Zealand’s international border will reopen to all tourists and visa holders two months earlier than planned on 31 July,” New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern stated.

This announcement gives travellers from markets like China and India the confidence to book their trips to New Zealand for when they are able to travel.

The reopening of the maritime border at the same time is also welcome and means cruise lines can start confirming port calls and preparing ships with certainty for the 2022-23 season.

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Auckland, New Zealand

The news has been greeted by the New Zealand Cruise Association with a sense of cautious optimism and relief.

“New Zealand is an important destination for cruise lines and with worldwide demand for cruising strong again, combined with excellent regional dispersal, this sector ticks every box for value,” says the Association’s Chair Debbie Summers. 

“After two years of hardship, hundreds of Kiwi ship suppliers and tourism operators can start rebuilding their businesses back, helping communities that have suffered during our pandemic years and begin preparing with confidence to provide our top service to cruise visitors.”

“The return of cruise will be welcomed by many communities around the country, especially those regions where cruise makes up a large part of their tourism like Northland, Gisborne, New Plymouth, Picton, Timaru and Rakiura Stewart Island.”

She says cruise will be a significant source of tourism for 2022/23. “It is going to play a vital role in the tourism industry’s recovery, bringing calmer seas for everyone.”

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Celebrity Eclipse

Celebrity Cruises says it is more than ready to welcome guests back on board.

Setting sail from Sydney on 22 October for the 2022-23 season, Celebrity Eclipse will be making her debut in the region with a series of curated 3-to-13-night itineraries across Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific.

For more information head to covid19.govt.nz/international-travel