Despite a dwindling global market, New Zealand's purpose-built cruise berth has welcomed its first vessel this morning.
The Spirit of the Enderby made the trip from Russia to Lyttleton after an exemption from Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield.
Twenty-two Russian crew sailed the long way, isolating on their journey to Lyttleton.
The ship, which is owned by Christchurch-based heritage expeditions, will be used for cruises around Fiordland, Stewart Island and sub Antarctic Islands.
At this stage only New Zealanders will be able to go on the cruises with the country's borders closed.
The global cruise ship industry was brought to a standstill earlier this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.