Forecasts for New Zealand’s 2015-2016 cruise season indicate that this season will break all of New Zealand’s cruise records, setting a pattern of growth that will continue into 2017. Data released in Cruise New Zealand’s economic impact summary report predict that the number of passengers cruising to or from New Zealand will increase by 33 percent for the coming summer. Cruises are also expected to add 24 percent more value to the New Zealand economy, and grow employment support by 23.8 percent. Overall, cruises are expected to have a significant impact on New Zealand’s 2015-2016 tourism industry.
This year is not only set to be a record season for passenger numbers. New Zealand’s cruise industry will see five new ships, and the average size of the ships will increase. One of the ships new to the region, the “Explorer of the Seas,” is the sister ship to the “Voyager of the Seas,” which is currently the largest cruise ship to operate in New Zealand.
This upcoming year of growth is another step in a pattern that has been developing over the last decade, during which New Zealand’s cruise industry has increased fivefold. New Zealand has many qualities that make it a promising location for cruise ships. It’s located in the central part of Australasia, making it a common stop on cruises going between Australia and China. The vast majority of Australian cruisers who stop in New Zealand are passing through this way. U.S. visitors, however, are more likely to depart from or cruise to New Zealand, making it the first or last stop on their trip. New Zealand’s small size, however, makes it a great candidate for home port tours, where cruisers depart and return to the same location. It takes about one week to cruise a full circle around New Zealand, which means visitors can experience the entire country. It’s also good news for New Zealand’s regional economy: These country-wide tours facilitate an even spread of revenue across the entire country.