Pacific Explorer sails into Tāmaki Makaurau for inaugural Auckland season

Friday, June 30, 2023

P&O Cruises’ Pacific Explorer is sailing into Waitematā Harbour this morning, offering New Zealanders amazing holidays that have it all, with the convenience of roundtrip cruising from Auckland for the next five months.

P&O Cruises has a decades-long history with Auckland, and is delighted that this year, Pacific Explorer will be calling the city home, for the first time.

As part of Pacific Explorer’s Auckland season, P&O Cruises has today announced a $5 million investment in local New Zealand produce, partnering with a number of iconic Kiwi producers and manufacturers including Good George, Neat Meat, Boundary Road Brewery and Sea Services.

President of Carnival Australia and P&O Cruises Australia Marguerite Fitzgerald says in addition to bringing thousands of guests to New Zealand over the summer cruise season, P&O is thrilled to be extending their relationship with Kiwis even further by basing a ship out of Auckland from 30 June.

“Pacific Explorer was the first ship to return to New Zealand for the restart of cruise tourism almost a year ago, and we are thrilled that she will now be based in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland for the next five months. With the cost of airfares continuing to rise, guests travelling on Pacific Explorer will experience an affordable way of travelling to the Pacific Islands and around Aotearoa, all from their doorstep in Auckland,” Ms Fitzgerald said.

“Supporting the communities we visit is important to us, and we do this by understanding and protecting the people, places and cultures everywhere we visit. Sourcing product locally provides economic support to New Zealand that extends further than just the port towns we visit. Guests travelling on Pacific Explorer in the coming months will be treated to sustainable produce sourced from farms across the North and South Islands, as well as local New Zealand beer and wine. With almost 3,000 people to feed every day on board Pacific Explorer, we are delighted to offer our guests the highest quality products from here in New Zealand.”

Good George Brewing Company Director Jason Macklow says, “The partnership with P&O has been three years in the making and we are stoked to see it come to fruition. Over the course of the five-month Pacific Explorer season, we are expecting to supply over 100 pallets of Good George beer, cider, and spirits for new and existing loyal customers to enjoy. It’s a big deal for our Hamilton-based brewery to get an opportunity like this, and we feel very privileged to be working with P&O.”

Managing Director of Neat Meat, Simon Eriksen, says the partnership with P&O Cruises is a welcome boost to their business over the quieter winter months.

“When cruise ships enter New Zealand, we seldom get the opportunity to supply product as often the meat comes from abroad. Having Pacific Explorer based in Auckland means we can build our business by supplying significant quantities of meat at a time of year that is traditionally the quieter shoulder season for hospitality. The economic boost that comes from our partnership with P&O is beneficial not just to us, but also to our farmers throughout the country.”

Pacific Explorer’s first cruise of the Auckland season departs at 6pm on Friday 30 June, travelling to Mystery Island, Port Vila, Lifou and Noumea before returning to Auckland on Sunday, 9 July.

To view itineraries or book your next cruise from Auckland, visit