Auckland manages to balance metropolitan living with a charming European-style, and the towns surrounding the city center each have a unique personality. Parnell, Ponsonby and Newport are all a mere 10 minute walk away from the harbor and each boast a starkly different scene, from French-like cafe culture to Turkish-influenced hookah lounges, Auckland is a melting pot of European and Asian traditions. Enhance your New Zealand cruise itinerary with these must-visit Auckland attractions, and immerse yourself in the city’s enriching, unique culture.
Get French in Parnell
A steep hill takes New Zealand cruise passengers to Parnell, a notoriously French-influenced town. Self-proclaimed as Auckland's Creative Quarter, this beautiful suburb is nothing like any other part of the nearby metropolis with the incredible Auckland Domain park found just around the corner from decadent chocolate shops and fashion boutiques.
Cruise passengers finding themselves in Parnell on a Wednesday, Saturday or Sunday morning won't want to miss the farmers' market, where local vendors sell fresh produce, preserves and homemade cheeses. After grabbing a delicious ginger smoothie, travelers can peruse the small, open-air market and treat themselves to samples of French cheeses, ice cream and of course, a fresh-baked chocolate croissant.
A short distance from the farmers' market is the Auckland Domain, where locals lay out on picnic blankets and soak up the sun. Situated high on a hill in the middle of the park, the Auckland War Memorial Museum houses millions of Maori artifacts that illustrate a rich and vibrant culture that is still very much a part of everyday life.
Take a wine tour on Waiheke Island
Just a short ferry ride away from Auckland is Waiheke, a small, volcanic island with rich soil suited for growing white wine grapes like sauvignon blanc and chardonnay. On New Zealand shore excursions, Princess passengers will enjoy an unforgettable taste of the southern hemisphere's version of paradise.
The ferry ride will take a scenic tour of Waiheke's coast, which features farmland, forests, olive groves and vineyards. Likened to a Mediterranean landscape, the island has inspired local artists to create vivid paintings and with a camera in hand, cruisers won't be able to resist the urge to take dozens of pictures.
Looking for more Auckland attractions to visit on your New Zealand cruise? Find inspiration for your bucket list, plus more insightful articles covering expert cruise tips and advice, from Princess Cruises.