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Cruise giant gets wet Wellington welcome

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 22/12/2016

The largest cruise ship ever to visit New Zealand, the 348-metre Ovation of the Seas, has had an overcast and wet welcome to Wellington.

However, the wind was absent when the world's fourth largest cruise ship added to the capital's skyline on Friday morning, following a visit to Milford Sound.

A planned visit to Dunedin was cancelled because of a poor weather forecast.

The ship's owners claim it is the most technologically advanced to have sailed in New Zealand waters.

It features such diversions as bumper cars, a circus school, rock-climbing on the ship's funnels, a surf machine and a viewing pod, 90m of which can be extended above the water.

It has 18 restaurants.

The ship carries 6400 guests and crew and the economic benefit of visits have been touted in the millions.

The Ovation is scheduled to visit Picton on Saturday, Tauranga on Monday and Auckland on Tuesday, however it is too long to berth there and passengers will be ferried to shore.

The ship has Sydney as its home port for the summer and a visit to Napier is scheduled for January 5.

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