New Zealand cruise market one of world’s strongest

Australasia’s largest cruise liner company, Carnival Australia has welcomed the lateststatistics released by the InternationalCruise Council of Australasia (ICCA) which show a record 56,749 New Zealanders took a cruise holiday in 2011.

This 32 per cent increase from 2010 puts New Zealand just behind Australia’s 34 per cent increase, making them the two strongest passenger growth rates worldwide.

The latest figures show the strength and popularity of the cruise market in New Zealand, with more than double the passenger numbers from five years ago, when the ICCA first started compiling its statistics.

Carnival Australia CEO Ann Sherry said more Aussies and Kiwis than ever before werediscovering the enjoyment of cruising holidays.

"It has been another year of extraordinary growth for cruising in Australasia and this has placed us securely on course to surpass our goal of carrying a million passengers a year by 2020,” said Ms Sherry.

In welcoming the latest ICCA statistics, Ms Sherry said the growth potential for the industry in this part of the world is huge, but port infrastructure gaps remained critical to further growth.

“Carnival Australia is always supportive of regional long term planning to improve port infrastructure and facilities,” she said. “In particular, I applaud Auckland’s strong leadership role in its commitment to provide a dedicated cruise ship facility on Queens Wharf.

“This will ensure the continual growth of the cruise industry for Auckland, with the ability to handle larger ships and enhance the visitor experience for passengers and crew,” said Ms Sherry.

Other highlights from the ICCA include:

  • The South Pacific retained its position as the most popular cruise destination, attracting nearly half of all Kiwi passengers in 2011
  • A large increase in New Zealanders exploring their own waters (up 220 per cent to 4628), attributed to an increase in the popularity of short breaks from Auckland
  • More than half a million total sea days in 2011 – an increase of 24 per cent from 2010
  • An 80 per cent increase in the number of Australians cruising to New Zealand, from 46,643 in 2010 to 84,013 in 2011 – and a 700 per cent increase during the past five years.