The largest cruise ship to visit New Zealand made its debut in Auckland this morning with nearly 6500 passengers and crew on board.
The 168,666-tonne, 348mOvation of the Seas set off from Sydney on December 18 and arrived in Waitemata Harbour at 6.30am. It is owned by cruise line operator Royal Caribbean.
Its length is 20m more than the height of the 328m Sky Tower, and Ovation is anchored in the harbour off Queens Wharf as it is too big to dock at the wharf. Passengers have to be ferried about 800m on bright yellow tenders to Wynyard Wharf in the Viaduct area.
The onboard amenities include a surfing simulator, rock-climbing wall, rollerskating rink, circus school and 18 restaurants, pubs and cafes.