Two exciting cruise events that happened during the Christmas holidays.

In local news, the apple of P&O Cruises’ eye, new ship Pacific Pearl (pictures by James Morgan), was launched to great fanfare in Auckland on December 21.

Shore-side spectators and media looked on as local Maori tribe Ngati Whatua paddled across the harbour to greet the ship at Queens Wharf, before presenting the ship’s godmother, Barbara Kendall, with a traditional feather cloak.

Later that night Kendall christened Pacific Pearl by smashing a magnum of New Zealand sparkling against the ships hull.

Currently Pacific Pearl is operating her maiden season of New Zealand cruises before she arrives in Sydney for a series of cruises on February 3.

Internationally, cruising was also making its presence felt among New Yorkers gathered in Times Square for the New Years Eve countdown.

The popular American Carnival Cruise Lines was the official sponsor of the tonne of confetti that rained down on more than a million revelers as the clock struck midnight.

Carnival Cruise Lines also sponsored the Wishing Wall in the Times Square visitors centre, where people could record their hopes and dreams for the coming year on colourful pieces of paper. Messages were also collected on the lines Facebook page and some of the messages were inscribed on more than 2,000 pounds of confetti, according to the cruise line.

Click here to see Carnival’s senior cruise director John Heald’s video recap of the Carnival-coloured event!