The number of Kiwis favouring a cruise ship holiday is on the rise.

Figures from Cruiseabout NZ show significant growth in the number of people taking cruises, with close to 40 per cent growth across all cruise types.

Last year a record 90,184 New Zealanders sailed the world's oceans on a cruise ship holiday, the equivalent of 2 per cent of the population and a 36 per cent increase year on year, according to the Cruise Lines International Association.

Danny Bodger, Cruiseabout NZ brand leader, says these figures suggest the cruise ship market is set for even more growth.


"All markers we have seen suggest cruising is a burgeoning market and the increase in ships, cabin availability and itineraries tell us we're in for substantial growth in traveller numbers over the next five years," Bodger said.

The company has 20 new ships on order ahead of the season which will add capacity of almost 30,000 additional passengers, in addition to the 26 new ships which set sail in 2017.

Cruises around New Zealand, the South Pacific and river cruises through Europe are top picks for Kiwis next year.

Mexico and the Baltic Sea are also picked as emerging destinations, Bodger says.

According to the Cruise Lines International Association, the most popular cruise destinations for Kiwis are the South Pacific and New Zealand.

Figures last year show the number of Kiwis cruising in local waters increased 177 per cent.

"Over the next few years we're going to continue to see more cruise liners sailing in our waters, more frequently and for longer seasons," Bodger says.

A range of deals will be showcased today at the Cruise Expo held at the ANZ Viaduct Events Centre in Auckland.


Deals include nine nights in Galapagos twin share from $11,135 and a luxury river cruise in Europe with a water view cabin from $7195.

Bodger says many cruise lines had recognised increased demand for expedition cruising, passengers travelling by cruise to tick off bucket list destinations, and will be delivering more expedition ships over the next five years.

Expedition cruising is "in line with the explosion in 'experiential travel' Cruiseabout NZ has seen in recent years", Bodger said, with more customers than ever seeking unique travel experiences.

Purpose-built expedition ships are now able to take Kiwis to destinations such as the Galapagos Islands, Baja California in Mexico, and Alaska.