The South Pacific will once again become an expansive cruising destination. The New Zealand government announced last week that the country’s maritime border will “reopen to currently prohibited foreign flagged vessels including cruise ships, recreational craft, and specialist vessels” from July 31, 2022. In the announcement made on May 11, New Zealand’s prime minister, Jacinta Ardern, said, ““New Zealand is in demand and now fully open for business.” The move is expected to “increase the available pool of labour, while also speeding up our tourism recovery.”
The border reopening is set for 11:59 p.m. on July 31, and the news has been received with enthusiasm, as was demonstrated in the email we received from Sharron Beck at Whangarei Marina: “Finally we can receive yachts into New Zealand again soon …”
Whangarei Marina is one of several marinas and ports that have been upgraded ahead of the reopening. As reported in Sail-World last week, “New Zealand has spent the past two years expanding superyacht offerings across the country’s marine destinations.” Whangarei has an expanded superyacht refit facility; the Bay of Islands Marina has casual berthage for visiting cruising yachts and “a new 120-metre superyacht berth.” The city of Auckland has also received additional inner city berths.
As Pacific Puddle Jumpers and cruisers cast off for, and from, the South Pacific and head for popular destinations such as the Marquesas, Tahiti, Bora Bora, Tonga and Fiji, they can soon turn south to continue on to New Zealand and enjoy the region’s spectacular sailing grounds.