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When is the best time to cruise New Zealand?

Figure out the best time to visit beautiful New Zealand based on weather conditions, peak season and prices.

Take to the waters around New Zealand for one of the best ways to see the incredible coastline’s beaches and fjords.

Best time to cruise New Zealand

November to March.

Why?

Being summer, November through March are the warmest months in New Zealand, meaning it is best for those nature-based shore excursions. Cruise options are also much more limited during the winter months.


Overview

New Zealand is a popular cruise destination due to its beautiful scenery and the summer months are usually the busiest and most expensive.

It can be a good idea to travel in the shoulder months of October–November and March–April, to make your trip a little less expensive and not as crowded.


Weather and prices

Best time to visit New Zealand, weather-wise: December through to March is the best time to visit New Zealand for a cruise, as they are the warmer months.

Cheapest time to cruise New Zealand: October, November and April are good options to cruise New Zealand on a budget, as they are out of the peak season but the weather will still be relatively warm. If you're concerned about poor weather affecting your cruise but are tempted by the bargains that can be had during the off season, cruise travel insurance can help compensate you for changes to your itinerary and give you peace of mind for your sailing.


Best time to take shore excursions in New Zealand to...

  • Fiordland: December to February will be the warmest time to be on the water in New Zealand’s far south, and will be the most pleasant to experience the World Heritage Sites – Milford and Doubtful Sounds – as this destination is amazing for trekking and kayaking. Many cruises in the area will sail right into these fjords.
  • Rotorua (from Tauranga): November to May are the warmest and driest months to see the area’s hot thermal springs, bubbling mud and the famous Pohutu Geyser.
  • Auckland: December to April should grant you days at 20 degrees or more and are the drier months to visit New Zealand’s largest city.
  • Hobbiton (from Tauranga): November to May are the warmest and driest months to take an excursion to Hobbiton, which is mostly outdoors.
  • Marlborough: While any time of year is ideal for visiting the area’s famed cellar doors, summer in Marlborough brings long, sunny days and perfect weather for exploring the area’s walking tracks and waterways.

Hot New Zealand cruise deals

CruiseAway CruiseAway

Up to $1,000 air credit with Holland America

Valid on select 2019 and 2020 sailings. Destinations include New Zealand, Australia, Northern Europe, South Pacific and more. T&Cs apply.

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Flight Centre - Cruises Flight Centre - Cruises

Up to $800 off stateroom + 50% off deposits with Carnival

Valid for travel on select dates in 2020. Destinations include New Zealand, Tasmania, South Pacific and more. T&Cs apply.

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Destination International Destination International

12-day New Zealand cruises + flights from $1,899

Valid for travel at 9 March 2020 with the 5-star Celebrity Solstice cruise. Destinations includes Auckland and more. Includes hotel accommodation, flights from Melbourne, Sydney or Brisbane, daily meals and more. T&Cs apply.

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Flight Centre - Cruises Flight Centre - Cruises

Up to $500 OBC + free drinks package

Valid for cruise on select dates in 2020 - 2021 with Cunard Cruises. Destinations include Japan, Alaska, New Zealand and more. T&Cs apply.

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Up to 18% off cruises + free flights

Valid for travel from November 2019 - February 2020, including over Christmas with Viking Ocean Cruises. Destinations include Australia, New Zealand and Asia. T&Cs apply.

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Up to 40% off Australia and New Zealand Christmas cruises

Valid for travel until December 2020 across Australia and New Zealand. Destinations include Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Auckland and more. T&Cs apply.

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Popular Cruises coupon codes

Last checked Code description Code
16 Sep 2019 2-for-1 last-minute cruises ********
28 Aug 2019 Up to 42% off P&O cruises + free premium beverage package ********
21 Aug 2019 50% off deposit + Up to $500 OBC with Holland America cruises ********
19 Sep 2019 Australia: 7-night cruise from $852 ********
19 Sep 2019 Vienna: 10% off 8-day cruise ********

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