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NZ Cruise Passengers Surge 23 Per Cent to New High

July 3, 2014

New Zealand Cruise Passengers Surge 23 Per Cent to New High

New Zealand cruise passenger numbers soared to an all-time high of 59,316 in 2013 helping the nation track one of the largest growth rates for cruisers worldwide.

Launched in Auckland today, the 2013 Cruise Industry Source Market Report revealed that while New Zealand is still a small source market, its strong growth rate of 23 per cent surpassed all major cruise passenger markets, more than doubling Germany (9 per cent) and France (9 per cent), well ahead of North America (3 per cent) and even pipping Australia’s strong performance (20 per cent).

The record result, the second largest hike since the statistics were first compiled in 2006, has also driven an increase in the market penetration rate with the equivalent of 1.3 per cent of the New Zealand population taking a cruise in 2013, up 0.2 per cent from 2012.

This figure shows that New Zealanders have more of a penchant for cruising than Spain (1 per cent) and France (0.8 per cent). Australia now leads the way for market penetration (3.6 per cent) while the well-established North America market sits at 3.3 per cent.

Announcing the report findings, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Australasia General Manager Brett Jardine said the results showed that New Zealanders were increasingly discovering the joys of cruising.

“New Zealand is a young cruise market and this impressive growth shows that cruising is very much on the horizon for a lot of Kiwi travellers,” Mr Jardine said.

“We’ve now seen the number of New Zealand cruisers double over the past seven years with the market experiencing an enviable annual average increase of 14 per cent.

“With more ships being deployed in the region in the coming years, we expect to see continued growth out of New Zealand.”

Mr Jardine said the latest CLIA Australasia figures showed renewed buoyancy in the New Zealand market after numbers fell in 2012 due to a temporary reduction in local cruise capacity.

Other key findings of the 2013 CLIA Australasia Cruise Industry Source Market Report for New Zealand include:
• Local cruising in the South Pacific, Australia and New Zealand collectively accounted for slightly more than half of all passengers, with the South Pacific continuing to be the standout destination luring 31 per cent of cruisers in 2013
• Cruising to Australia also spiked with passenger numbers up 48 per cent to a record 7855 passengers
• River cruising numbers leapt 19 per cent to break through the 4000 mark for the first time (4166)
• Europe continues to dominate long-haul destinations with 19 per cent of the market
• The first breakdown of the European ocean cruise market showed the Mediterranean was the biggest drawcard within the region attracting 15 per cent of New Zealander passengers while Northern Europe accounted for the remaining 4 per cent
• More than half of New Zealand passengers took cruises of 8-14 days with this category increasing 27 per cent in response to the growing number of South Pacific and local cruises on offer
• New Zealanders spent an estimated 656,000 days at sea in 2013 – an increase of 26 per cent on 2012 with holidaymakers enjoying an average 11.1 days per cruise
• In line with the population spread, the North Island remains the leading source of cruise passengers accounting for 79 per cent of the market
• Cruise passenger ages continue to be spread broadly across all age brackets, reflecting the diversity of product and itineraries available to New Zealand holidaymakers.
For more information visit

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) is the world's largest cruise association and is dedicated to the promotion and growth of the cruise industry. CLIA is composed of more than 55 of the world's major cruise lines and serves as a non-governmental consultative organisation to the International Maritime Organization (IMO), an agency of the United Nations.

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