LIVE: Holidaymakers to spend Christmas on a cruise ship courtesy of Air New Zealand following flight cancellations

Eighteen flights into Auckland have been delayed today and five were cancelled, with big cheers erupting from hundreds of travellers delighted to skip Christmas with drama addict family members this year

Greg Foran, Chief Executive of Air New Zealand, announced stranded travellers will instead celebrate Christmas on a cruise ship travelling around New Zealand, fully funded by Air New Zealand

“My son-in-law is a conspiracy theorist and he gets into these heated arguments. I have not been looking forward to Christmas, so I’m delighted to be on a cruise ship instead”

10 year old Jack is over the moon and is looking forward to making the most of the water park on board the cruise. “I can’t wait” said Jack

The cruise embarks from Auckland at 5 pm Christmas Eve