Immigration New Zealand Throws Wrench into Ponant's February Cruises

Le Lapérouse

Immigration New Zealand has denied entry for some crew who they have deemed to be non-essential aboard Ponant's Le Laperouse, which was set to offer a New Zealand program in February. 

The New Zealand Cruise Association (NZCA) meanwhile said in a statement it believes that all the ship’s crew are essential to its operation and they cannot be replaced by New Zealanders in such a short time.

"It is a case of one Ministry giving and another taking away. Government departments must begin to talk to each other, not take separate action which once again greatly harms the tourism industry," said NZCA Chief Executive Officer Kevin O’Sullivan.

"The Minister of Immigration has tried to paint the decision as the fault of Ponant for not following procedure, but it is not so. As soon as the exemption was granted Ponant provided information to Immigration NZ on visa requirements for the ship’s crew, giving ample time for a response and following up with an application when they had assembled the information requested more than three weeks ago," O’Sullivan continued. "They did everything that was requested by the New Zealand Government in order to offer safe domestic cruising in New Zealand."

To comply with COVID-19 requirements to isolate crew, the ship has been slow steaming from its last port, testing everyone onboard regularly.

Le Laperouse was due in Auckland on Saturday for maintenance work and New Zealand COVID-19 testing, with the first voyage beginning February 8.

Cruise Industry News Email Alerts



Email Newsletter

Get the latest breaking cruise news. Sign up.

Cruise Ship Orderbook

72 Ships | 162,750 Berths | $46 Billion | View

New 2022 Annual Report

Cruise Industry News Annual Report


100% Overview

Capacity Data

Through 2027

Regional Data

Brand by Brand

Order Today

2022 Expedition Report

2022 Expedition Market Report Cover


Mkt. Overview

Supply Data

All Operators

190+ Pages

PDF Download

Order Today