On board Ovation of the Seas

Ovation of the Seas. Photos: Bruce Barnard

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What else can you say about Ovation of the Sea – she's an absolute stunner.

The mega cruise ship is currently berthed in the Port of Tauranga and SunLive photographer Bruce Barnard was lucky enough to wander around the vessel which is longer than three rugby fields (348m), has a gross tonnage of 168,666 and costs a cool USD $1 billion (NZD $1.4B).

The Royal Caribbean vessel is the fourth largest cruise ship in the world, and the largest to ever visit New Zealand.

Ovation of the Seas is an absolute game changer for cruising down under,” says Royal Caribbean Australia and New Zealand managing director Adam Armstrong.

“Over the last decade we have committed to bringing the biggest and best cruise ships to our doorstep – and today is the climax of that story. This occasion marks the first time that a cruise line has ever based a brand new ship in this market.”


Ovation of the Seas' Captain Henrik Loy presents a plaque to Tauranga City Mayor Greg Brownless to commemorate today's visit by the mega cruise ship.

At 348 metres long, if stood up end to end she would one and half times the height of Mount Maunganui. It can carry almost 6500 guests and crew, more than the total population of Paihia or Picton, and with 2090 rooms onboard she has 25 times more rooms than Tauranga's Hotel Armitage.

While on board passengers are spoiled for choice when it comes to entertainment and activities, which includes sky diving at sea, rock climbing, bumper cars, roller skating, a full size sports court, a circus school, a surfing simulator, 18 different dining options, and a whole lot more.

She is one of the greenest ships to ever visit New Zealand shores and is equipped with next-generation technologies like air lubrication systems on the hull to reduce fuel consumption and has been designed and built only to use LED or fluorescent lights, many of which are operated by motion sensors, only operating when needed.

Ovation of the Seas will also deliver significant economic benefits during her three visits to Tauranga, and is expected to inject over $1.5 million in passenger spend alone, while her maiden New Zealand season is expected to inject more than $9.5 million into the national economy.



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The Lovely Mount Maunganui beach. Photo: Denis Player.

Send us your photos from around the Bay of Plenty. kendra@thesun.co.nz