a family on a cruise ship

If you think cruises are just for third agers, think again. Young New Zealanders are heading to the high seas for adventure

Thursday , 5 October 2023 by Sue Hamilton
  • Southern Cross Travel Insurance reveals 12 per cent of all NZ travellers are planning a domestic cruise this year
  • Demand strong amongst 18 – 34 year olds, perhaps looking at cruises like Disney Wonder
  • Optional cruise cover now available for domestic travellers in response to growing demand, with research showing a key reason for cover is fear of missing a departure

With ocean-going liners back in numbers and plying their trade in our waters, Southern Cross Travel Insurance reveals more New Zealanders are looking at domestic cruises as a desirable getaway.

Jo McCauley, SCTI CEO says, “Our research shows[1] 12 per cent of New Zealanders are planning to go on a domestic cruise in the next 12 months, with a very strong showing among 18 – 34 year olds looking for something different. With the likes of Disney Wonder proving so popular, this latter stat comes as no surprise.

“We’re now offering a cruise add-on to our popular domestic travel insurance policy, which was first launched in August 2020 to support travellers during the pandemic. Now that the cruising industry is well and truly bouncing back, we’re responding to customer demand for cruise cover when travelling around the motu.”

While researching how best to respond to their needs, customers told Southern Cross they were looking to buy cover due to increased travel disruption, protecting their investment in the trip, safeguarding their valuable items and because they had secured a good deal.

McCauley says, “We've responded by extending our domestic travel insurance benefits to customers travelling on cruises to cover disrupted travel outside of their control to join a ship, and falling ill or being injured before they depart.”

In the last 12 months, Southern Cross has paid out more than $700,000 in domestic travel insurance claims, with the most expensive being $11,000 when a customer was injured while hiking and had to cancel the remainder of their pre-planned itinerary for a family trip.

With some domestic cruises costing tens of thousands of dollars, McCauley says that cruise cover is definitely an investment worth having but reminds travellers to be aware of what their insurance does and doesn’t cover.

“There are significant costs associated with domestic cruises, and missing a departure was identified in our research as a key customer concern. Many of us have seen TikTok videos of travellers running alongside a cruise ship departing without them, but it’s important to remember you will only be covered if the incident is unexpected. Missing the boat because you’ve simply spent too much time enjoying the sights of Lyttelton or Mount Maunganui isn't something your travel insurance can cover.”

Cruising offers a unique opportunity to see Aotearoa New Zealand from a whole new angle. “Getting in quickly to secure a berth, is one thing, but do make sure you're covered for the unexpected.&rdquo