The first cruise ship to arrive in New Zealand since the Covid-19 pandemic began was welcomed into Auckland this morning.
The Pacific Explorer, carrying 2000 people, is the first cruise ship to arrive in Aotearoa for two-and-a-half years.
Its charge is made up of 1200 guests and 800 crew who departed from Sydney.
After visiting New Zealand, the ship will carry on to Fiji before returning to Australia.
Before the pandemic, 20% of spending in Auckland's CBD stemmed from international tourists, and in the year ending June 2020 that spending topped $200 million.
The ship's arrival is expected to primarily benefit retail and hospitality but the return is also being met with criticism regarding health and environmental risks.
A small boat was trailing the Pacific Explorer on its arrival into Tamaki Makaurau with protesters onboard trying to draw attention to what they say are the cruise industry's negative impacts on the environment.