Cruising offers one of the fastest and easiest ways for travellers to slow down on holiday. Once you start sipping that first tropical cocktail, there is no need to worry about how you are going to get from one destination to the next, whose turn it is to cook dinner or how to keep the kids entertained. Your biggest decision will be whether to treat yourself to a massage at the onboard spa, curl up with a book or soak up the sun on your balcony.

No passport is required for sailings that don't visit ports outside New Zealand, you don't have to learn a new language and there is no need to buy foreign currency.

Pack your bags, not your passport, for a comedy cruise from Auckland and you'll be laughing – especially when it comes to the price you paid for your holiday.

Buying tickets to see up to a dozen comedy shows featuring some of the country's best comedians would cost a fortune on land. On a comedy cruise, they're included in the cost of your fare, plus you get delicious dining and can enjoy a few drinks without the hassle of deciding whose turn it is to drive home.


P&O Cruises also offer short food and wine cruises, which are the perfect quick fix for when you need a holiday but haven't got a lot of time (or perhaps money) to spare.

If you're a foodie who can sail for longer, Radiance of the Seas includes nearly every signature Royal Caribbean restaurant in the fleet. Take a culinary journey around the globe as you sample Brazilian fare at Samba Grill, Italian cuisine at Giovanni's, juicy steaks at Chops Grille or sushi at Izumi. It's possible to dine at a different restaurant each night on this ship.

If you would like to sail close to home, New Zealand has plenty of "don't miss" natural wonders, such as Akaroa's harbour, which is home to more than 15,000 Hector's Dolphins, the rarest oceanic dolphin in the world.

If you have ever wanted to spot dolphins in the wild, this is the place.

Natural beauty abounds at Dusky Sound, Doubtful Sound and Milford Sound, all of which can be seen in one day on a cruise ship. Milford Sound was dubbed the "eighth wonder of the world" by Rudyard Kipling and is beautiful in rain, hail or shine.

If you want to see more of the South Pacific and have time to spare, why not try a repositioning cruise? These longer cruises happen each year when ships that are based in another part of the world during winter sail to the southern hemisphere to commence their summer season.

When our cruise season ends, these ships sail back again, usually in March or April, with cabins sold at a bargain price. Larger ships such as Ovation of the Seas are ideal for repositioning cruises as there is plenty of onboard fun to be had.

With activities ranging from bumper cars and roller skating to a surf simulator, wine tasting and flying trapeze classes, there is little chance of getting bored on a mega-ship. You also get to experience some great ports on these cruises such as Moorea and Bora Bora in Tahiti, the jewels of the South Pacific.


Holland America's Noordam offers a 40-night journey from Vancouver to Auckland, stopping at not one but three Hawaiian ports and some of Fiji's most beautiful but lesser-known islands such as Dravuni and Savusavu.

Queensland's cruise ports offer plenty of fun in the sun, even in winter.

Carnival Cruise Line and P&O Cruises sail here year round, making it tempting to book a cruise to escape the last of the chilly weather. Airlie Beach has an impressive array of active shore excursions such as Segway tours, jet ski safaris, sea kayaking and day trips to Whitehaven Beach. Or you could simply soak up the sun at Airlie's free swimming lagoon.

Nearby Cairns is famous for being the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef but this tropical port offers visitors so much more. Soar high above one of the world's most significant rainforests on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway or travel on the charming Kuranda Scenic Railway, which first opened to passengers in 1891. Independent travellers can hire a car and go in search of the perfect latte among the picturesque Atherton Tablelands' coffee plantations.

Tropical South Pacific ports offer a quintessential cruise experience and are the perfect spot to work on your tan. Vila, the sleepy capital of Vanuatu, offers a charming slice of Pacific island life.

Lifou has excellent snorkelling or you could enjoy a do-it-yourself mud spa at one of Lautoka's natural thermal pools in Fiji.

With a few sea days at the end of each South Pacific itinerary, you will have time to ease your way back to reality before the ship docks.