Auckland commuters aboard ferries were thrown into an aquatic holding pattern in the harbour as they were forced to wait for a cruise ship to come into dock.

All inner harbour services were affected by the Celebrity Solstice docking at Princes Wharf this morning, Fullers360 chief executive Mike Horne said.

One 9.30am ferry from Auckland to Waiheke Island had to be cancelled.

"All inner harbour services were impacted, as well as Waiheke and Devonport services.


"The inbound Waiheke and Devonport vessels were delayed about 20 and 15 minutes respectively, as they waited to safely enter the ferry basin," Horne said.

A cruise ship of that size halted traffic for the entire ferry basin, due to its thrust it was not safe to operate any ferries in or out.

NZ Listener books and culture editor Russel Baillie tweeted a picture of several ferries floating in the middle of the harbour.

"Am on one of 7 commuter ferries being forced to wallow in harbour waiting for cruise ship to dock at Princes Wharf. It's like Dunkirk out here," he tweeted.

At 10am he posted another picture showing the ferries coming into port.

Cruise ships coming in to either Queens or Princes wharf always caused some level of disruption, but many arrive before commuter hours, before 6.30 or 7am, which minimised the impact on ferry services, Horne said.