Start planning your cruise and book your excursions to Tauranga
With a population of over 141,600 people, beautiful Tauranga
is one of New Zealand’s biggest cities
. The Māori settled
here in the 13th century, 500 years before the Europeans! This MSC World Cruise
destination overlooks the gorgeous Bay of Plenty
on the country’s North Island, and is celebrated for its natural wonders, vibrant eateries, and buzzing waterfront.
• Rotorua Geothermal
• Waitomo Caves
Take an MSC Cruises excursion to Rotorua’s geothermal hotspot, a world of boiling mud pools, hot springs, and gushing geysers. The Whakarewarewa Valley has three significant geysers including Pohutu — the largest in the southern hemisphere! With eruptions lasting from a few minutes to several days, it propels water up to thirty meters in the air! Afterwards, visit Government Gardens, the Art Deco Blue Baths, and the famous Rotorua Bath House, which is a now a fascinating museum.
If you’re a fan of J.R.R. Tolkien, you won’t want to miss out on an MSC Cruises excursion to Matamata. In the heart of the Waikato region, in the shadow of the Kaimai Range, lies an area of lush farmland where Peter Jackson shot his Oscar-winning Lord of the Rings and enchanting Hobbit trilogy. Now a permanent attraction called Hobbiton, you’ll stroll around this movie set’s many locations. Stop by Bag End and the Party Tree before and enjoying a drink at the Green Dragon Inn.
The Waitomo Caves took over 30 million years to form, when planet Earth’s movement caused limestone to buckle and rise above sea level. On an MSC Cruises excursion, you’ll take a boat ride into its pitch-black expanse, gazing at millions of bioluminescent glow-worms lighting up the ceiling. Their amazing performance will leave you speechless, which is probably just as well, as these glowing critters extinguish their lights whenever they hear noise! To finish, enjoy a delicious buffet style lunch at the Waitomo Homestead accompanied by glass of beer, juice, or wine.