All those big white ships you see in the harbour are part of a growing trend. House of Travel has been sifting the latest numbers from the Cruise Line Industry Association and reports that "demand for cruising has increased 68 per cent in the past 10 years, with 24 million passengers expected to sail in 2016 (up from 23 million in 2015)". New Zealanders are the third-fastest growing nation for cruise, behind Australia and Germany.
Keeping it local
House of Travel Orewa was named NZ Cruise Agency of the Year at the Australasian Cruise Industry Awards in Sydney last week. They're finding that the new line of P&O cruises in New Zealand, such as the recent Napier Art Deco cruise, have surged in popularity and estimate about 50 per cent of those travelling on the new P&O cruises in New Zealand are new to cruising.
The long and short of it
The growth in cruising isn't all about short voyages. Princess Cruises' "extended cruises" have grown by 30 per cent. the most popular extended cruises are: around the world, circumnavigations of Australia, and voyages around the Pacific (Asia, US and Pacific Islands) and South America.
Don't forget Fiji
In the aftermath of Cyclone Winston, our friends in Fiji need our help. Getting over there to pump money directly into their economy is a good start. All Fiji Airways flights from New Zealand to Fiji and all Fiji Link domestic flights to popular tourist regions, including Savusavu and Taveuni, have been operating to normal schedule since last Tuesday. Seriously, they'd love to see you.
On which note, hats off to Fiji Airways, who last week donated F$1 million ($700,000) to the Prime Minister's Relief Fund. The airline also carried relief supplies free domestically and inbound from other countries.
Here at Travel Wires, we love big planes and are delighted to note that Emirates will use an A380 on the inaugural service of their Auckland-to-Dubai route this week. That service will be handled with a Boeing 777 on a regular basis, but watch that space.