Buoyant cruise season boosts spending

An increase in the number of cruise voyages and passengers boosted cruise ship expenditure to $434.0 million in the year ended June 2018, Stats NZ said today.

Total cruise expenditure was up 18.3 percent ($67.1 million) following a 9.9 percent increase in the June 2017 year.

The spending component by cruise visitors in New Zealand climbed to $284.0 million in the June 2018 year, up 31.8 percent ($68.6 million). This follows a 0.6 percent decrease in visitor spending in 2017, after a fall in cruise passenger numbers that year. Since 2015, spending by cruise visitors has increased 54.2 percent ($99.9 million).

Vessel spend associated with services, including bunkering (fuel), provided to cruise ships visiting New Zealand totalled $106.6 million, down 10.0 percent ($11.9 million). GST from cruise visitor spending contributed a further $43.4 million to total expenditure.

Auckland and Tauranga had the largest total spending by port. In the year ended June 2018, spending in Auckland totalled $131.4 million (up 11.2 percent) with Tauranga recording $65.9 million (down 3.0 percent).

More passengers than last year

There were more than 259,000 cruise ship passengers in the year ended June 2018, up 17 percent (38,000). This included people on the mega cruise ship Ovation of the Seas and the ocean liner Queen Mary II. The number of passengers in the June 2017 year (222,000) had been down 7 percent on 2016, largely because fewer ships were available for voyages.

The New Zealand Cruise Association reported that in the June 2018 year, cruise ships made more than 700 port visits, up from the 2017 year, despite disruptions by cyclones Fehi and Gita in February 2018.

The increase in passengers was driven by New Zealand citizens (up 18,000) and people from the United States (up 12,000). This partly reflected more winter cruises from New Zealand to the Pacific than in the 2017 year.

As a share, Australian citizens made up 44 percent of all passengers in the 2018 year. United States citizens accounted for 20 percent, New Zealand citizens 13 percent, and United Kingdom citizens 8 percent. Collectively, Australia, the United States, and the United Kingdom made up 72 percent of all passengers compared with 76 percent in the June 2015 year.

Auckland and Dunedin ports had the largest number of passengers. In the June 2018 year, Auckland received 211,000 passengers, up 9 percent (18,000), and Dunedin received 180,000 up 11 percent (17,000).

For more information about these statistics:
Visit Cruise ship traveller and expenditure statistics: Year ended June 2018 
Buoyant cruise season boosts spending