Lucrative cruise season boosting economy

  • 03/10/2015
Lucrative cruise season boosting economy

New Zealand's biggest-ever cruise season is under way, bringing a third more passengers than last year.

The first ship of the season, Diamond Princess, arrives in Wellington today and the last, Pacific Pearl, leaves on June 23

During the season 34 ships will make 701 calls at 16 ports, carrying 267,800 passengers, 33 percent more than the 2014-15 cruise season.

The growth in passenger arrivals in 2015-16 is calculated to inject $543 million to the New Zealand economy, up from $436m last season.

"From November to February, we will host at least one ship in New Zealand every day," Cruise New Zealand general manager Raewyn Tan says.

"February is the busiest month, peaking at 10 ships in our waters on February 8."

Not only will there be more ships, but the ships coming will also be larger on average.

Also, eight of the ships are new to New Zealand waters, including Explorer of the Seas, whose sister ship, Voyager of the Seas, is currently the largest in passenger numbers.

Other new ships are Golden Princess, Azamara Quest, Coral Discoverer, Costa Luminosa, Le Soleal and the Noordam.

For the first time, Gisborne will host a series of 10 regular calls by the Golden Princess.