Passenger Numbers

The total number of New Zealanders who took a cruise holiday in 2010 reached a record 42,886 compared with 31,633 in 2009.

New Zealand cruise passenger figures have increased 62 per cent since ICCA figures were first collated in 2006, when 26,510 New Zealanders took a cruise.

The latest figures reveal that almost one per cent of the New Zealand population took a cruise in 2010.

Cruise Destination – Market Share

The most popular cruise destination in 2010 was the South Pacific, representing 42 per cent of the market (18,153).

European ocean cruising ranked second and attracted 20 per cent of the market (8390) while Australia followed with 9 per cent of the market (3862).

Meanwhile cruises to the Americas (including North, South and Central America) snared 7 per cent (2937) ahead of worldwide river cruising at 6 per cent of the market (2372).

The numbers of New Zealanders visiting Alaska bounced back in 2010 as confidence in the economy recovered, with 5 per cent of the market or 2281 passengers opting for an Alaskan cruise

Cruise Destination – Growth

In 2010, cruises to the Americas, The South Pacific and Europe registered strong growth reflecting increased deployments in the regions, with the Americas rising by 54 per cent, South Pacific expanding by 49 per cent and Europe by 50 per cent.

The most significant growth was experienced on cruises in Alaskan waters, with numbers almost doubling to 2281, revealing slight increase on pre-global economic crisis levels in 2008 (2050).

Meanwhile Asia and Australia also posted solid increases, with Australia rising 24 per cent to 3862 and Asia 27 per cent to 1645.

River cruising rose almost 4 per cent to 2372 while New Zealand cruises dropped slightly by 15 per cent to 1452. On a much smaller base, “other” cruises covering Antarctica, Africa and the Transatlantic dropped to 448 passengers.

Cruise Trends

Cruises of between 8-14 days remained the most popular during 2010, accounting for 59 per cent of the market. 

There was significant growth in shorter cruises, with the number of passengers opting for a cruise between 0-4 days accounting for more than 8 per cent compared with just 3 per cent in 2009.

The popularity of cruises of between five and seven days also jumped from 11 per cent in 2009 to 17 per cent in 2010.

Despite the trend to shorter cruises, estimated annual sea days rose by 9 per cent to 461,000 in 2010.