Mount Maunganui will be celebrating the arrival of Tauranga's first overnight cruise ship visit this month.

On Monday, November 21, Coronation Park will be taken over by craft stalls, food trucks and live performers to entertain locals and visitors at Picnic in the Park, organised by Tourism Bay of Plenty and Little Big Markets, as the Celebrity Solstice becomes the first cruise ship to pay an overnight visit to Tauranga.

The event will start at 5pm and run until 8pm.

The visit is expected to bring nearly 3000 passengers through the port.

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Mount Mainstreet manager Ingrid Fleming said it would be fantastic to have such an event to enjoy on a Monday night.

She said the motto for the overnight cruise ship stays was "meet the locals".

The next overnight stay was on December 10, a Saturday, and Mrs Fleming said Mount Mainstreet would be putting on a great night for both the visitors and the locals.

"We will be staying open until 7pm, which is quite a big deal for our retailers because it's a busy time of year for them.

"We're going to make a real night of it. We will have some buskers down the street and there will be different activities going on.

"It will be fun, people can come and hang out and enjoy the atmosphere, have a drink at a bar and sit outside."

The Sun Princess, the first cruise ship of the season, arrived in the Mount on October 9.

This season shapes up as the biggest on record for ship visits with 83 expected, carrying 153,000 passengers. However, last season was the largest for passengers with 164,300 visiting Tauranga.

On five occasions cruise ships would remain in port overnight.

This season's expected stats

- 83 ships to call

- 153,000 passengers, plus 66,000 crew

- Five ships will overnight in Tauranga

- Ovation of the Seas (largest ship to berth in NZ) and Emerald Princess will bring about 9500 visitors


Upcoming cruise ship visits

Noordam, Nov 7, arriving at 7:15am

Noordam, Nov 9, arriving at 8:03am

Pacific Aria, Nov 19, arriving at 7:15am

Celebrity Solstice, Nov 21, arriving at 7:15am

Emerald Princess, Nov 23, arriving at 8:45am

Maasdam, Nov 30, arriving at 8:03am

Sea Princess, Dec 2, arriving at 5:45am

Dawn Princess, Dec 4, arriving at 6:15am

Maasdam, Dec 4, arriving at 7:15am

Celebrity Solstice, Dec 7, arriving at 7:15am

Golden Princess, Dec 9, arriving at 4:15am

Celebrity Solstice, Dec10, arriving at 10am

Noordam, Dec 16, arriving at 7:48am

Dawn Princess, Dec 17, arriving at 5:30am

Radiance of the Seas, Dec 17, arriving at 6am

Caledonian Sky, Dec 22, arriving at 6:30am

Golden Princess, Dec 22, arriving at 8:15am

Crystal Symphony, Dec 22, arriving at 8:45am

Emerald Princess, Dec 24, arriving at 4:45am

Ovation of the Seas, Dec 26, arriving at 6:15am

Radiance of the Seas, Dec 31, arriving at 5:15am

Maasdam, Dec 31, arriving at 8:03am