Wellington cruise season: Tips for businesses and visitors

The opportunity

Between October and April, around 200,000 passengers from more than 100 ships arrive into Wellington Harbour. Most cruise ships berth at Aotea Quay, a five-minute shuttle ride from the city, but some smaller ships also dock at Queen’s Wharf.

Cruise passengers have a small window (usually 8am to 6pm) to explore our great city, so it’s important for us to be ready to help them get the most out of their visit.

Cruise information

For arrival and departure times and Wellington-specific cruise information, visit CentrePort Wellington.

For information on ship sizes, style, passenger and crew numbers, visit New Zealand Cruise Association.

The view of Wellington Central and Wellington Harbour from the lookout on Mount Victoria on a sunny day.

Get ready for cruise

Make the most of the opportunity and help us build Wellington’s reputation as a cruise-friendly destination. Here are some things to keep in mind during the season:

  • Understand the demographic — around 60% of Wellington’s cruise passengers are Australian, but different ships may carry different nationalities. During the Christmas period, expect to see more multi-generational families on board.
  • Be welcoming — Smile and say “kia ora” to our . Say hello and offer directions or give advice on where to buy the best flat white, souvenir, or sweatshirt.
  • Connect with the Wellington site — the isite is a key hub for passengers coming off the ship. Invest in brochure display to maximise your exposure, and keep the team updated on any new or special offerings for the cruise market.
  • Personalise your welcome — welcome each ship with window signage noting their ship name and perhaps a special offer.
  • Passenger pick-up and drop-off — access to the port is limited and passengers will need to catch a cruise shuttle to get from the port to the city. The 2023/24 cruise shuttle stops are yet to be announced.
Two City Ambassadors are helping two tourists outside the isite Visitor Information Centre located near the waterfront in Te Aro Wellington.

Wellington City Ambassadors

Each season, a team of passionate volunteers welcomes thousands of cruise passengers to the city. Positioned at key locations throughout the city, they provide information, directions, and a friendly welcome to Wellington.

If you’re passionate about the Wellington region and want to become a Wellington City Ambassador, we’d love to hear from you.