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Auckland Demand for Cruises on the Rise

Auckland Demand for Cruises on the Rise

29 August 2014

The popularity of international cruise holidays is soaring for Aucklanders, with a 20 per cent increase in forward bookings for House of Travel.

Non-traditional cruise destinations including North America and Asia are also emerging as favourites with Auckland residents, who are booking more cruise trips than the rest of the country.

Aucklanders’ increased desire for international cruising follows the national trend of growth - Kiwi cruise bookings have increased by 23% year-on-year, according to the latest industry figures.

Craig Hopley from House of Travel says nearly 80% of those bookings come from the North Island - the bulk of which are passengers travelling from the upper third of the country.

Many Auckland passengers are choosing to cruise close to home, with Australia, the South Pacific and New Zealand the most popular destinations.

The closer destinations suit busy Auckland residents, with 7-night cruises proving a hit for those fitting their cruise holiday into a one-week break from work.

For those travelling further afield, many Aucklanders are choosing to cruise to North America, particularly to Alaska and Hawaii.

The strong NZ dollar, and Hawaiian Airlines operating flights from Auckland has seen a growth of nearly 50% in bookings for cruises in this region.

There has also been an increase of over 200% for Aucklanders booking luxury river cruising in Asian destinations, in particular the Irrawaddy river in Burma, and the Mekong river in Vietnam and Cambodia.

For the rest of New Zealand, almost one-third of cruises booked are in the South Pacific, and nearly one in ten is in New Zealand.

Thirteen per cent of Kiwis also like the convenience of Australia, where they can combine the cruise with visits to friends and family.

Hopley says although a majority (52%) of cruise passengers is aged 50-65, they are also seeing a lot of growth in younger Kiwis choosing cruises, with more than a sixth of cruise passengers now under 50.

By Fleur Revell

ENDS

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