The first cruise ship to stay overnight in Tauranga has arrived in port.

The Celebrity Solstice cruised into port about 7am today and is not expected to leave until 8.30am tomorrow.

A picnic and markets event will be held from 5pm at Mount Maunganui's Coronation Park today to celebrate its arrival of the first cruise shop to stay overnight in Tauranga.

The event, which will also host a raft of food trucks, craft stalls and live entertainment, has been organised by Tourism Bay of Plenty and Little Big Markets.

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There are an estimated 3000 passengers on board the Celebrity Solstice.

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

This season is shaping up to be the biggest on record with 83 ships expected, carrying 153,000 passengers.

Cruise ships will remain in port overnight on five occasions this season.

Mount Maunganui walkers are dwarfed by the Celebrity Solstice, which is the first cruise ship to spend overnight in Tauranga. Photo/George Novak
Mount Maunganui walkers are dwarfed by the Celebrity Solstice, which is the first cruise ship to spend overnight in Tauranga. Photo/George Novak