New Zealand Kicks Off Busiest Cruise Season

New Zealand’s biggest ever cruise season got underway on October 3 when the Diamond Princess arrived in Wellington.

Following in its wake will be 33 other ships making a combined total of 701 calls to 16 ports around New Zealand, until June 23 when the Pacific Pearl sails out.

During that time, 267,800 passengers will land in New Zealand, 33% more than the 2014-15 cruise season.

“Not only will there be more ships, but the ships coming will also be larger on average,” Cruise New Zealand General Manager Raewyn Tan said.

Eight of the expected ships are new to New Zealand waters, including Explorer of the Seas, whose sister ship, Voyager of the Seas, is currently the largest in passenger numbers.

Princess Cruises will increase their Australasian fleet to five, introducing the Golden Princess to New Zealand. The other new ships to watch out for are the Azamara Quest, Coral Discoverer, Costa Luminosa, Le Soleal and the Noordam.

“From November to February, we will host at least one ship in New Zealand every day. February is the busiest month, peaking at 10 ships in our waters on 8 February,”  Tan says.

“The growth in passenger arrivals in 2015-16 is calculated to support 10,354 jobs and inject $543 million in value added to New Zealand, up from 8365 jobs and $436 million in 2014-2015.”