Luxury cruise around the world in New Zealand sells out in 30 minutes
The Insignia will welcome 684 lucky passengers on a six-month trip around the world. Photo / Provided
A luxury cruise around the world with stops in New Zealand has been booked in the fastest time ever.
Around the World in 180 Days aboard Oceania’s Insignia ship filled up in less than 30 minutes after it went on sale. The 2024 itinerary which includes eight days in New Zealand shows that there is plenty of appetite for cruises on the horizon.
Despite continued uncertainty surrounding the maritime boundary, the route is one of two Oceania ‘great voyages’ set to visit New Zealand in the 2023/24 season.
Howard Sherman, CEO of Oceania Cruises, said this new record “clearly illustrates the resilience, enthusiasm and passion that drives our guests to travel the world.”
More than half of the 684 bookings were from customers who had never sailed with Oceania before or who were sailing for the first time.
42% of guests who took places last week had sailed with the 2022 round the world which avoided Australia and the South Pacific, instead crossing the Bering Strait with stops in the Seas of Japan, Kamchatka and the ‘Alaska.
“The fervent demand for these globetrotting experiences is also a testament to our officers and crew and travel partners who have been strong advocates for the return of world travel,” Sherman said.
The final route would be back to Australia and New Zealand from February 11, 2024, with shore excursions to Auckland and Dunedin.
As New Zealand prepares a timetable to reopen its borders to international air travelers by the middle of the year, the cruise industry is keen not to be left out of the restart.
The New Zealand Cruise Association and CLIA said they hoped a protocol could be in place to allow international cruises and passengers by July this year.
“NZCA, CLIA and the cruise lines have regularly spoken with government agencies working on the details of a cruise restart,” said Kevin O’Sullivan, chief executive of NZCA.
However, he said there was no indication of when the maritime boundary order would be lifted.
The 180-Day Around the World Cruise will depart on a six-month voyage from Florida on December 29, 2023. Visiting 96 ports and more than 100 Unesco heritage sites, it will be possible to visit destinations as far afield as the super city of Tokyo with 37 million inhabitants. the small town of Paamiut in Greenland.