Cruise ship passengers pump millions of dollars into Napier's local economy each year but not always in the sectors directly related to tourism - as one Napier wedding planner can attest.

As more than 4000 passengers disembarked from the Ovation of the Seas at Napier Port headed for bars, restaurants and shops on Wednesday - Brisbane-based couple Brett O'Connor and Janine Heikkinen headed for the nearest wedding venue.

"I loved the fact that they wanted to elope in Napier, we have so much to offer and all in such close proximity", The Pretty Little Details Co Wedding planner Janine Esau said.

"Janine contacted me in September looking at options for eloping in Napier. So there was really only about two and a half months of planning involved.


"Janine and Brett's budget allowed for the best quality vendors and I selected celebrant Nichola Nicholson and photographer Meredith Lord because I have worked with them both many times before and I knew the results would be amazing for my clients. Since the couple were unfamiliar with Napier, I wanted to use professional vendors who would make them feel at ease, knowing everything was under control so that they could relax and enjoy their special day.

"The ceremony spot was only a two-minute drive from where the cruise Ship was docked, and then Janine and Brett were able to head to the Mission winery for lunch to celebrate all in the few hours they had before having to head back off on their ship. Napier is the perfect spot for an elopement."

Photographer Meredith Lord said she had photographed a number of elopements but this is the first time it had been a couple from a cruise ship.

Celebrant Nicola Nicholson said the ceremony took place at Marine Parade, behind the Sunken Gardens.

"It was a really lovey and gorgeous, they had their two children involved and the groom's mother, it was beautiful and it really worked out well."

The Ovation of the seas arrival came on the same day Statistics New Zealand's Tourism Satellite Account revealed cruise ship tourists to Napier last year spent a total of $12.3m, a rise of 23.7 percent on 2016.