Cruise ships to NZ dominated by older people, Australians

  • 19/10/2017
Ovation of the Seas anchored in the Waitemata Harbour
Ovation of the Seas anchored in the Waitemata Harbour. Photo credit: Getty

More women than men visit New Zealand by cruise ship and most passengers are over 50, according to the first official figures for the industry.

In the year ended June, there were 192,000 passenger arrivals and 190,000 departures, Statistics NZ numbers show.

That worked out at 222,000 "unique" passengers, when allowing for those who completed part of their journey into or out of New Zealand by air.

Over the past year, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has led a project to produce official statistics for cruise spending and passenger numbers.

Previously published by the NZ Cruise Association, the figures are now the responsibility of Stats NZ, which also released data for the previous two seasons.

The numbers show that the June 2017 year passenger total was down seven percent on the previous 12 months - a drop attributed partly to fewer ships being available.

However, it was 14 percent higher than in 2014-15.

Population statistics senior manager Peter Dolan says three-quarters of the visitors in the latest season were aged 50 to 80.

For every 100 males, there were 121 females.

Auckland was the most-visited region, attracting four of every five passengers, while roughly three of every four visitors went to Fiordland, Dunedin and Wellington.

Half of all passengers were Australian, while Americans accounted for 18 percent of the total, Britons nine percent and New Zealanders 7 percent.