A last-minute change of plans means the first cruise ship to visit Tauranga this season will be here three days early.

The first ship, Sun Princess, was expected to arrive on October 12 but because of a bad weather forecast in the South Island, the ship is being rerouted via the North Island and is arriving three days earlier on Sunday about 9am.

Tourism Bay of Plenty chief executive Kristin Dunne said the schedule change had placed pressure on the timelines and preparation of the i-PORT facility, but the organisation was doing everything it could to ensure the season got off to a smooth start.

"While we anticipate this shift may have an impact on our industry, we're confident they will rise to the occasion and tackle this challenge head-on.

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"Our doors are always open to engage with our operators and the industry, and are happy to support them in any way we can to ensure the cruise ship season is a success."