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Best lines to cruise from Australia to New Zealand

You don’t need to go far to be a world away from Australia.

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Aeial view of trees and mountains in Picton, New Zealand

Cruises from Australia to New Zealand are all about experiencing extraordinary sights and activities without needing to venture too far from home.

New Zealand’s got something for every type of traveller. Sail past the unforgettable glacial fjords in Fiordland National Park, sip on some of the world’s finest wines, get up close to the local wildlife and ease all your cares away in a thermal hot pool.

Best cruises from Australia to New Zealand

Whether you choose an easy round trip itinerary or stay longer in New Zealand with a one-way journey, these are the cruise lines that will get you there in style.

Best for a breezy budget getaway: P&O Cruises

Score the right deal and you can grab a six-night sail for as little as $350 per person with P&O. For that price, you’ll get an inside cabin plus your daily entertainment, nightly shows and a huge choice of dining options. Onboard facilities include hot tubs, pools, water slides and youth programs for the kids.
  • No free room service
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

Best for families: Carnival

You’ll find something for every generation onboard, from the grandparents right down to the tiniest tot. Experience adults-only retreats, spa treatments and late-night entertainment for the adults, kids clubs and water parks for the younger ones and a variety of dining choices to keep the whole crew happy.
  • No free room service
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Diners, Paypal, Carnival EasyPay, Gift Card, Discover Card, Debit, Western Union, Cheque
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

Best for onboard entertainment: Royal Caribbean

Looking for all the bells and whistles that go along with a floating resort at sea? Make a beeline for one of Royal Caribbean’s mega-ships where it’s all about big adventure, big entertainment and big experiences.

Think live music, deck parties, grand theatre productions and adventure activities such as ice skating, rock climbing, water slides and laser tag. We dare you to get bored on one of these ships.


  • Room service included
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • Price matches
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Diners, Discover Card
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

Best for first-timers: Holland America

Holland America’s relaxed atmosphere, affordable cost and mid-sized ships are an ideal way to ease into the world of cruising. Onboard you’ll find a variety of pleasures that should appeal to most cruising newbies including the Culinary Arts Center with hands-on workshops and cooking demos, art tours of the onboard collections, special talks to highlight local culture and an entertainment lineup featuring the B.B. King's Blues Club.
  • Room service included
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover Card
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

Best for overnights in New Zealand: Azamara

If you're looking for more time to immerse yourself in the Kiwi culture, then look no further than Azamara. Some itineraries include two overnights along with four late-night departures, sometimes as late as 11pm. With all that extra time in port, you can plan a sunset sail in the Bay of Plenty, enjoy an evening meal off the ship, take an after-hours' tour of Auckland Zoo or experience the Hobbiton movie set at dusk.
  • No free room service
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

Best for single travellers: Norwegian

Going solo? Norwegian’s studio cabins are supplement-free and are furnished with a full-size bed, private bathroom and flat-screen TV. Studio guests also get access to an exclusive lounge where you can meet other single travellers, stretch out, watch a movie or have a drink at hosted cocktail gatherings.
  • Room service included
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Diners, Discover Card
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

Best for seniors: Celebrity

Celebrity’s ships are all about modern luxury that doesn’t skimp on the accessibility features that appeal to a more mature traveller. Enjoy sophisticated menus crafted by a Michelin-starred chef with both upscale and casual dining options, captivating evening performances and thoughtful enrichment programs featuring renowned lecturers.
  • Room service included
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

Best for all-inclusive: Crystal Ocean Cruises

Keep the wallet in your cabin because almost everything is included on a sail with Crystal Cruises. Besides your entertainment, speciality dining, 24-hour room service, Internet and a complimentary voluntourism excursion you can indulge in all the soft drinks, specialty coffees, fine wines, premium spirits and champagnes you need for a relaxing holiday at sea.
  • Room service included
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

Best for all-suite ships: Seabourn

All cabins on Seabourn ships are oceanfront suites, you only need to choose how much space you need. Suites come with a spacious marble bath with double vanities, walk-in closets, a fully stocked bar with your preferences and a personal suite stewardess. You’ve also got plenty of room to indulge in some in-suite dining with round-the-clock service that’s served course by course.
  • Room service included
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, American Express, Discover Card
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

Best for a traditional cruise experience: Cunard

They say the golden days of cruising are behind us but Cunard’s unique style of old-world cruising lets you step back in time to those glory days. Elegant afternoon teas, extravagant fine dining, glamorous black-tie events, elaborate gala balls, quirky garden parties and classic Shakespearean performances all help you experience some time-honoured traditions at sea.
  • Room service included
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover Card
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

Best for butler service: Silversea

For the epitome of luxurious, personalised service, you can’t go past having your own butler and Silversea’s ships include one for every passenger. Leave your butler to take care of the droll work of making reservations and appointments, unpacking your suitcase and even shining your shoes. They’ll make sure your room is kept pristine, stock your in-suite bar to your liking and lavish you with high-end toiletries.
  • Room service included
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

Best for foodies: Oceania

Treat yourself to a culinary experience that might have you dreading eating off-ship. Think casual al fresco spots, upscale dining venues, lavish afternoon teas, wine-pairing dinners and foodie excursions while in port.

Need more proof? Oceania has taken the crown at many culinary awards including Best Onboard Dining by TravelAge.


  • Room service included
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Cheque
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

Best for couples: Princess

Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or simply want to explore a new place together, Princess sure knows how to deliver on the romance factor. Dining options include tables for two or a balcony dining experience, lobster dinners or breakfast in bed. Spend the day at the adults-only sanctuary with an indulgent couples massage and at night watch a movie under the stars snuggled up under blankets or head to a quiet lounge for a private chat.
  • Room service included
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Diners, Discover Card, JCB
Price ($-$$$):

Best for luxury travellers: Regent

Awarded Best Luxury Cruise Line by Cruise Critic, Regent pulls out all the stops when it comes to six-star cruising. Exquisitely prepared cuisine, premium amenities, white-glove service and thoughtful onboard enrichment programs are all part of the package. Even better, the spacious suites feature large sitting areas, walk-in wardrobes and marble-lined bathrooms with a tub.
  • No free room service
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, American Express, Discover Card
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

How we picked our best cruises

When choosing cruises for this list, we look at the quality of routes available from each cruise line, prioritizing well-paced itineraries with port stops at key destinations from Australia to New Zealand.

We also consider onboard dining options, weighing the number, variety and overall quality of restaurants against passenger reviews. Finally, we weigh cabin amenities against each price point, looking for cruise lines that are known to deliver the highest value.

We also seek out customer reviews on travel websites and personal travel blogs, considering first-person experiences and each company’s overall reputation.

When is the best time to cruise to New Zealand?

New Zealand is ideal between December and March. A cruise during the summer months helps you see the country’s beautiful scenery during the warmest weather.

Here are some important factors to consider to help you choose the best time for your next cruising holiday.

  • Summer break. Kids in New Zealand and Australia are off from mid-December to late January. You can expect popular attractions to be more crowded and ships to have a larger number of families. If you’d like to cruise during this period but avoid the crush on board, seek out an adults-only line like Viking Ocean or lines with adults-only areas such as Carnival and Celebrity.
  • Winter and off-peak. The period from May to September is still an interesting time to visit but it’ll be difficult to find much cruising activity.
  • A cold July. Temperatures in July can easily dip below freezing in parts of the country and this is when you can expect the most rainfall. Definitely one to avoid.
  • The shoulder season. Budget travelers should consider October, November and April when prices are reasonable and the weather is still relatively warm.

What are the must-do cruise excursions in New Zealand?

You can book these excursions with your cruise line, through a third party or choose to visit on your own but make sure you consider cruise travel insurance to avoid any disappointments.

  • Waiheke Island (Auckland). Just a short ferry ride from the city is an island brimming with beaches, art galleries, vineyards, adventure activities and restaurants.
  • Swim with dolphins (Akaroa). Suit up and head out into the ocean to swim with wild dolphins, the world’s rarest and smallest ocean dolphin to boot.
  • Art Deco tour (Napier). Discover what makes Napier the Art Deco capital of the world in a tour through the city. Visit prime examples of the distinctive building style including a frozen-in-time suburb.
  • Otago Peninsula (Dunedin). Animal lovers should make a beeline to this haven for unique and rare wildlife. You’ll get a chance to see penguins, albatross, sea lions and fur seals in the wild and up close.
  • Martinborough wine tour (Wellington). Take a trip to one of the country’s most famous wine regions. You’ll get to take in the sights of the picturesque countryside, taste some local produce and sample a variety of wine.
  • Hobbiton (Tauranga). Explore the sets of the Lord of the Rings series where you’ll get to explore Hobbit holes, visit the Party Tree and Bag End and have a drink at the Green Dragon Inn.

Current cruise deals

Expedia.comExpedia.com

Save up to 25% on select Bahamian, Caribbean and Baja cruises with Disney

T&Cs apply.

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PricelinePriceline

Disney Cruise Line deals starting from $213/night to Caribbean and other destinations

T&Cs apply.

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Expedia.comExpedia.com

Disney cruises from $657 per person to the Caribbean

T&Cs apply.

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CruiseDirectCruiseDirect

Carnival cruises starting from just $55/night to the Bahamas and other destinations

T&Cs apply.

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Expedia.comExpedia.com

Carnival cruises to the Caribbean starting from $179 per person

T&Cs apply.

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Expedia.comExpedia.com

Save up to 83% off Carnival cruises to the Caribbean

Caribbean cruises from 4-7 nights from $179 per person. T&Cs apply.

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PricelinePriceline

Up to $1,000 to spend on board with Norwegian Cruise Line

Just book your next cruise vacation with Priceline Cruises and get up to $1,000 to use as a liquor, dining, and spa credit, along with other purchases made on the ship! T&Cs apply.

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CruiseDirectCruiseDirect

Last minute cruise deals from $33/night

Cruises from 3 to 15+ nights available from multiple lines. Get great deals on prime ships, routes, and rooms for bookings from a week or more out.

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Avoya TravelAvoya Travel

Princess cruises sale - free drinks, tips and up to $400 free cruisetour cash

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Deal ends

Avoya TravelAvoya Travel

Last minute cruise deals: up to 70% off + free ship credit and free gratuities

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Deal ends

Bottom line

Travel to New Zealand the scenic way and get the chance to see so much more of the country than you could ever imagine. Make your holiday happen sooner rather than later with our top cruise deals.

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