Giant cruise ship to arrive today

The biggest cruise ship ever to visit New Zealand has arrived in Milford Sound this afternoon. 

The 347-metre Ovation of the Seas arrived in Milford Sound, Doubtful Sound and Dusky Sound after crossing the Tasman Sea from Tasmania.

The ship is longer than three football fields and will be visiting ports around the country in the coming week. 

Spokesperson Adam Armstrong says "there's more to this ship than has ever been on a ship that's come to New Zealand before".  

Activities on the ship include a skydiving machine, dodgem cars, a circus school and a surfing simulator. 

There's also a day spa, shops, gym, casino, live music, movies and 18 restaurants on board spread over the ship's 18 decks.

casino on ovation of the seas cruise ship
A casino on-board the cruise ship (RCI)

The ship can carry 4,905 passengers plus 1,500 crew members.

noodle restaurant on Ovation of the Seas
One of the 18 restaurants on the ship (RCI)

With so much on board it seems unbelievable those passengers will spend money on our shores, but Mr Armstrong says the ship is expected to pump $43 million into the economy. 

the interior of Ovation of the Seas
The ship can carry almost 5000 passengers (RCI)

The ship will travel up the country throughout the week stopping in Picton, Wellington and Tauranga, before making its final stop in Auckland on December 27. A visit to Dunedin has been cancelled due to a bad weather forecast.