Auckland has been ranked the world's best city on the water by a American cruise line business.

Chicago Line Cruises' list of the world's greatest 25 cities on the water placed Auckland in top place, well ahead of Sydney which appeared in place No 7.

Second best city on the water was found to be Barcelona, followed by Vancouver, Copenhagen, Singapore, Chicago and then Sydney.

A spokesperson explained how the placings were determined.


"What makes this list unique is that the ranking system is based on the Mercer quality of life ranking, alongside the Euromonitor ranking, which is based on tourist traffic. A lot of lists are based on quality of life and many others are based on tourist information, but not many combine the two," she said.

However, the survey was also based on other factors.

"We also considered a number of cultural and recreational characteristics of each city, including food and music scenes, nature, architecture and a wild card factor that assigns value for things truly unique," the survey said.

Arts and architecture, music, nature, sports, dining and the wild card are all listed in the survey.

Auckland's top four tourist attractions were listed along with our ranking.

"The Auckland Art Gallery hosts more than 15,000 art works. Auckland is nicknamed City of Sails. There are thousands of beaches, including wild black sand surf beaches. People can tour sets from the infamous Lord of the Rings movies nearby," the survey found.