New Zealand has maintained its position as one of the world’s fastest growing cruise markets, with new figures showing a record 65,609 Kiwis enjoyed a cruise holiday last year.
New Zealand passenger numbers surged 10.6 per cent in 2014, positioning the nation as the third fastest growing cruise passenger market in the world, after Australia (20.4 per cent growth) and France (13.6 per cent) and well ahead of major markets such as Germany (5 per cent) and North America (2.7 per cent).
Although the New Zealand cruise market is still small by international standards, the equivalent of 1.4 per cent of New Zealand’s population took a cruise last year (up 0.1 per cent on 2013) giving the nation a greater market penetration rate than established cruise markets like Spain (1 per cent) and France (0.9 per cent).
Released in Auckland today, the 2014 New Zealand Cruise Industry Source Market Report shows that the most popular destination for Kiwi cruisers was the South Pacific which attracted more than 20,000 passengers (31.4 per cent of the market).
Europe ranked second on the cruise holiday list, with close to 12,000 Kiwis heading to the region for an ocean cruise last year (more than 18 per cent of the market).
Meanwhile an increase in the number of cruises close to home fuelled a 45 per cent rise in the number of Kiwis cruising New Zealand waters (7519 passengers, representing 11.5 per cent of the market).
Produced by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Australasia, the annual source market report is based on data received from CLIA’s cruise line members, which account for more than 95 per cent of the world’s cruise passengers.
Speaking at the report launch, CLIA Australasia General Manager Brett Jardine said New Zealand’s growth story was impressive.
“While New Zealand is still an emerging source market for cruise passengers with a relatively small population, it outperformed most markets around the world last year in terms of growth,” Mr Jardine said.
“These figures show us that more and more New Zealanders are recognising cruising as a great value and relaxing way to travel and are responding to the expanding range of cruises on offer.”
Mr Jardine said the outlook for the New Zealand industry was buoyant, with a growth rate of only 7 per cent required to reach 100,000 passengers by 2020.
Key findings of CLIA Australasia’s 2014 New Zealand Cruise Industry Source Market Report include:
- River cruising’s growing popularity prompted a 31.2 per cent increase in passenger numbers to 5464
- Kiwis cruising to the Caribbean region, including the Bahamas and Panama Canal, grew 46.1 per cent to 2629 while numbers to the Other Americas region including Hawaii, Eastern Canada, Mexico and South America rose by 44.1 per cent to 4310
- The number of New Zealanders cruising to Australia dropped by 41 per cent to 4633 reflecting a decline in the availability of Australian itineraries from New Zealand
- The most popular cruise duration was 8-14 days, with more than half of all passenger numbers (34,000) opting for this length
- New Zealand cruise passengers spent almost 680,000 days at sea in 2014 with the average length of a cruise holiday estimated at 10.4 days
- The North Island accounted for 82 per cent of New Zealand cruise passengers.