With the current cruise ship season nearly over, planning has already begun for the next season, promising more and new ship visits.

The 80th and final cruise ship Sirena would sail into Tauranga on Monday.

For the 2017/18 season, 95 ships were tentatively scheduled, beginning with the Golden Princess on October 10 and ending with the Insignia on May 18, 2018.

There would be 20 double-ship days and a triple-ship day with Caledonian Sky, Massdam and Seabourn Encore in port on January 6.


The RMS Queen Mary 2 was scheduled to make its inaugural visit to Tauranga on March 4. The seventh-largest cruise ship in the world has 2620 passengers and 1200 crew.

Tourism Bay of Plenty chief executive Kristin Dunne said it was exciting to have the RMS Queen Mary 2 visiting.

"It's another opportunity to promote our abundant region and showcase our community's fantastic hospitality.

"Vessels of this size are considerable drawcards and are a ringing endorsement that cruise companies see Tauranga as a must-stop destination," she said.

Ovation of the Seas - the largest cruise ship ever to visit New Zealand - would return to the city with three visits on December 22, January 3 and February 9 bringing 4900 passengers and 1300 crew.

The 2016/17 season saw 80 ships come into port bringing 150,000 passengers and more than 64,000 crew through the gates on Rata St.

It was the first season that cruise ships stayed overnight.

Ms Dunne said the overnight stays were a season highlight as they maximised visitor experience with evening events, including The Little Big Markets holding night markets at Coronation Park and retailers staying open later than usual.


Tauranga residents were encouraged by Tourism Bay of Plenty to help send off the 2016/17 cruise ship season in style and wave goodbye to Sirena at 7pm on Monday.