A luxury cruise liner making its first circumnavigation of the globe has bypassed Napier due to strong wind gusts.

The Viking Sun, a six star cruise ship, was unable to dock at the Napier Port on Thursday morning as wind gusts clocked just over 65km/h.

Napier Port services manager Bruce Lochhead said it was the cruise liner's maiden call to the port and a missed opportunity as the ship wasn't scheduled to return this season.

The three month-old cruise liner, carrying 930 passengers and 465 crew members, bypassed Napier and continued southwards to Wellington, where it was reported wind gusts had reached 110km/h.

Advertisement

A traditional plaque ceremony, which takes place when a cruise ship docks for the first time at a port, did not go ahead either, Mr Lochhead said.

Viking Sun. Photo/Viking Cruises
Viking Sun. Photo/Viking Cruises

Napier i-SITE manager Jane Libby said consultants, city ambassadors and tour operators were all set to go when they were stood down.

"It is a real shame because we were looking forward to welcoming those particular passengers in. It would have been fantastic to have 930 of them for most of the day so it's a real disappointment."

She said the Viking Sun sailed quite close to Napier before turning around and leaving.

"We don't like seeing them leave," she said.

Aside from the wind gusts deterring the cruise ship, Hawke's Bay fared well compared to much of the country which was lashed by Tropical Cyclone Fehi today.

Metservice meteorologist Tui McInnes said Hawke's Bay and Gisborne were the only two regions in the country with no severe watches or warnings in place.

"Hawke's Bay is the nicest place to be in New Zealand at the moment. It's fair to say you guys have really been the ones who have escaped it so far."

Advertisement

During the day temperatures reached 30.9 degrees in Hastings, 30.0 in Napier, 28.9 in Wairoa and 27.3 at Mahia Peninsula.

"It's been pretty warm across the region as a whole but in contrast to the whole country it hasn't been too bad wind-wise," the meteorologist said.

Hawke's Bay hadn't received any rainfall as of this afternoon but scattered showers were expected overnight as the severe weather feature moved over the country.

"Hawke's Bay is sheltered so that rain is not particularly dominant or persistent, it's just a little bit wet," Mr McInnes said.

Hawkes Bay Principal Rural Fire Officer Trevor Mitchell said all fire permits for the region had been suspended from midday on Wednesday in light of Cyclone Fehi's winds.

Fire services had attended a fire on Cricklewood Rd, inland of Wairoa, this morning from about 11.30am which was believed to have been caused by power lines clashing in the wind, he said.

"The fortunate thing for us was the back country where the fire started had been picking up the regular rain from the thunderstorms so it's quite green.

"If the same event had happened on the Heretaunga Plains or in Central Hawke's Bay the outcome would have been quite different."

He said temperatures had soared this summer butthe additional wind factor meant the fire risk was higher.

"We're monitoring the situation and appreciate the help we get from the people of Hawke's Bay that are very fire-aware and generally careful with what they do. It's a really big help for us."

He expected fire services to lift the permit suspension when the winds dropped and the front passed to the south on Friday.

Ms Libby said the next cruise ship to call in to Napier was the Norwegian Jewel, carrying 2300 passengers, which arrives on Friday for its fifth visit to Hawke's Bay.