Stewart Island could be busier than Queen St next Tuesday when the 61,214-tonne cruise ship Volendam, with 1450 passengers visits.

The island has a population of 400.

Cruise New Zealand chief executive Craig Harris said he was confident the island would cope with the large influx of visitors, as the Holland America Line had "done their research".

"They are not expecting New York," he told the Otago Daily Times.

Passengers would be off-loaded by "ship tender" or lifeboat. Bird-watching and island-cruise tours had been promoted to them.

Stewart Island Promotion chairman Jon Spraggon said the visit would be a huge boost for the economy.

"We haven't seen ships with these numbers before, so it will be a great challenge for us all on the island, but everyone is as prepared as they can be for the event."

- NZPA