Super-sized cruise ship Explorer of the Seas has returned to Auckland.

The megaliner first cruised into port on the 6th of December after visiting Milford Sound, Dunedin, Picton and Wellington.

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Today, kids living with cancer will get to try their hand at living a life of luxury on the high seas as they spend the day on board ship.


The 311-metre-long ship has a 1350-seat theatre, surfing simulators, on-board ice skating and rock climbing facilities -- and charity Camp Quality kids will get to commandeer the sports deck, trying their hand at rock climbing, surfing and more.

This is the third cruise season in which Royal Caribbean -- the boat's owner -- has worked with Camp Quality, an organisation catering for children living with cancer, holding fun days on board cruise ships in ports around New Zealand.

Explorer of the Seas is Royal Caribbean's newest and largest megaliner based in this region. It can carry almost 5200 passengers and crew, weighs 137,308 tonnes and is 38m wide.

If stood vertically bow to stern, it would be almost as tall as the Sky Tower and is about 5cm longer than sister ship Voyager of the Seas.

It has 15 decks, 10 pools and whirlpools and 15 bars and restaurants -- including a three-deck main dining room, which is the largest restaurant in Australasia, seating almost 2000 people at a time.

The ship this year had a $122 million overhaul in Spain and Royal Caribbean estimates that in its five-month stint in New Zealand it will inject an estimated $23.5 million into the economy in passenger spend.

Explorer of the Seas is not the biggest ship to venture into New Zealand waters -- the Queen Mary 2 is 148,528 gross tonnes and 345m in length.

But Royal Caribbean is bringing what will be an even bigger vessel, Ovation of the Seas, here next summer.