A four-decked cruise ship formerly based in the Bay of Islands will soon be offering Aucklanders and tourists overnight trips from the Viaduct Basin.
Backed by the InterCity Group, Hauraki Blue Cruises says the 44.5m, 30-cabin catamaran Ipipiri will also offer lunch cruises plus private charters for weddings, evening cruises and corporate events.
The vessel arrived in Auckland in mid-June and has since been rebranded and is going through a refurbishment. It begins cruising the Auckland Harbour and Hauraki Gulf from September 4.
InterCity chief executive John Thorburn says, “Hauraki Blue Cruises is the ultimate floating venue to showcase the sights of the stunning Hauraki Gulf for locals and visitors alike.”
The Ipipiri can hold theatre-style and cocktail events for up to 100 people as well as banquet-style settings for up to 80 in the restaurant and bar. The 30 ocean-view cabins come with en suites.
Since 2009, the Ipipiri has been used by GreatSights Bay of Islands, also part of InterCity. But the company decided that basing it permanently in Auckland would attract a broader and bigger market over a longer season.