Record cruise season kicks off


The arrival of the Majestic Princess this weekend, weather permitting, kicks off another big cruise season for Hawke’s Bay.

Napier Port CEO Todd Dawson says that the port has a record 72 cruise ships scheduled to call this season, up from 57 last season.

“We’ll be welcoming up to 125,000 cruise passengers to Napier between October and April, which is an increase of around 25% on the passenger count last season. Our cruise industry is growing in leaps and bounds, and we’re hitting new records every year.”

The 2018-2019 cruise season promises to be a major boost for the Hawke’s Bay economy, with passengers expected to spend a total of around $28 million.

Recent figures from Statistics New Zealand show cruise passengers spent on average $227 per day in Hawke’s Bay last season, a 41.5% increase on the previous season.

“We’ve seen a huge jump in passenger spend, which is fantastic for our local businesses. And with passengers spending up to an average of $620 in other centres, we know there’s plenty of room to grow it further.”

Demand from cruise lines is growing, with an increasing number of cruise passengers wanting to explore all that Hawke’s Bay has to offer.

“There’s huge demand for the Hawke’s Bay experience. Cruise lines are booking more Napier calls every year, and they’re already asking us to prepare for Oasis class cruise ships, which are even larger than the Ovation of the Seas.”

“We’ve already embarked on a programme of upgrades for our existing infrastructure, to support our cruise sector to grow in the short term. But looking further ahead, catering to Oasis class ships – which are around 360 metres long – will require much more significant infrastructure developments.”

“We’re excited about the potential in our cruise sector, and the benefits it could bring for the people, businesses and economy of Hawke’s Bay.”

Majestic Princess

The Majestic Princess is scheduled to arrive at Napier Port on Sunday, carrying up to 3560 passengers and 1346 crew. At 330 metres long, it’s one of the largest cruise ships ever to call at Napier – second only to the Ovation of the Seas, which will come to Napier a record six times this season.

The Majestic Princess is the newest ship in the Princess Cruises fleet, and includes six restaurants, a shopping mall, a library, nine-hole mini-golf and a casino. It’s also home to the SeaWalk, an 60-foot glass walkway suspended beyond the edge of the ship.

It’s the ship’s first voyage to Napier, and the port’s specialist marine pilot team have been working hard to prepare, travelling to The Netherlands to train in a ship simulator with the Majestic Princess crew.

Upon arriving in Napier, representatives will come together for an old maritime tradition, where the port and the ship exchange plaques to mark the maiden voyage to Napier.

Further information:

  • Cruise ships receive a special welcome at Napier Port, with a display of vintage cars courtesy of the Hawke’s Bay Vintage Car Club, and volunteers dressed in Art Deco finery. For the Majestic Princess, this display will be on departure, from 1:00pm until 3:00pm.
  • On departure, passengers are farewelled by the sounds of the Twin City Stompers.
  • The Statistics New Zealand report on cruise expenditure can be found here:
  • Cruise passengers spent $23,135,000 in Hawke’s Bay in the year to June 2018, according to Statistics New Zealand
  • Cruise expenditure figures do not include New Zealand cruise passengers, or cash spending

For more information

Breanna Cullen
Communications Advisor

Phone: 06 833 4685