New government cruise travel restrictions

The New Zealand Government has imposed a temporary ban on all cruise vessels from entering New Zealand’s territorial waters on health grounds, with effect from 2359 (NZST) tonight until 30 June 2020. The recently announced strengthened border measures do not apply to cargo ships or marine crew.

Since January, Napier Port has been working with the Hawke’s Bay DHB to take additional precautions on checking the health of passengers and crew arriving at Napier Port, including cruise and cargo vessels. We have handled 55 cruise ships during that time (including 3 cancellations due to weather) with no issues.

Two cruise ships, Ruby Princess and Le Laperouse, are still arriving today as they are already in New Zealand waters. These have complied with the additional health procedures.

We were nearing the end of our normal busy season anyway, with just eight ships, including the two in port today, due to visit sporadically until May. We are currently awaiting advice from cruise lines with vessels in New Zealand waters for the season on what impact they will face due to the restrictions.