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Located at the northern tip of New Zealand’s South Island, Port Marlborough (Picton Cruise Port) is wedged between the mountains and the sea of Queen Charlotte Sound, one of four rugged sounds that make up the Marlborough Sounds. Large cruise liners and inter-island ferries crossing the Cook Strait all stop here.
Spend the day exploring the picturesque town of Picton after disembarking at Port Marlborough. Visit the Edwin Fox heritage ship and the Picton Community Museum, or walk on the scenic Snout Track. Alternatively, opt for a more challenging trek along part of the Queen Charlotte Track. Many shore excursions take you to Marlborough to taste renowned sauvignon blancs, although you can also embark on wildlife-viewing, kayaking, and paddleboarding experiences on Queen Charlotte Sound.
Port Marlborough welcomes passengers ashore with Flower Ladies and provides free self-guided walking tour maps of Marlborough.
Most Port Marlborough shore excursions include pickup and drop-off at the port.
Shore excursions to the Marlborough wine region typically last for 4–6 hours, and include multiple tastings.
Marlborough is one of New Zealand’s sunniest regions and most shore excursions include time outside; be sure to bring a hat, sunscreen, and sunglasses.
Smaller cruise ships arrive at Waitohi Wharf. From here, it’s a 10-minute walk into town. Larger cruise ships dock at Waimahara Wharf on Shakespeare Bay, from where passengers are typically shuttled to central Picton. Taxis are plentiful and shore excursions generally include round-trip transportation.
The official languages in Picton are Maori and English, while the local currency is the New Zealand dollar. ATMs, cafés, supermarkets, and other services can be found on Picton High Street and the town has Wi-Fi zones near the waterfront—enjoy 60 minutes of free browsing.