The first of three cruise ships carrying up to 5500 rugby fans arrives in Auckland for the World Cup playoffs this week.

Adventure World is sending in the 278m-long Volendam, while Cruise Co has chartered the 278m Rhapsody of the Seas and TUI Travel the 245m Pacific Dawn.

Ticket prices range from $1799 for a short stay to $12,270 for a top-of-the-line suite and longer trip.

The vessels will be berthed at Queens, Captain Cook and Bledisloe wharves.


General manager of Sydney-based Adventure World, Nigel Adams, says Volendam passengers are primarily from Australia and South Africa.

Themed All Blacks, Wallabies and Springboks bars are planned, with a general supporters' bar also in place for fans to mingle.

"It's going to be stunning. The whole carnival atmosphere is electric."

The Volendam sails to Wellington for the quarter-finals on Tuesday before returning to Auckland on October 14.

Pacific Dawn is due in Auckland this Wednesday and Rhapsody of the Seas on October 15.

Sales for the quarters are almost sold out but Adams says the Volendam is about three-quarters full for the semifinal and finals weekend.

"We haven't seen a large take-up of corporate sales which is part of ... the economic situation."