Superyacht arrivals hit new record in New Zealand

New Zealand’s uncrowded waters are fast becoming a home away from home for some of the world’s most exquisite superyachts.

A record 57 superyachts visited New Zealand during the superyacht season (April 2014 - March 2015) - the highest number of superyacht visits since the America’s Cup in 2000, when around 90 to 100 visited Auckland’s shores.

Premium destination

Auckland – also known as the ‘City of Sails’ - is the hub of New Zealand’s marine sector with 60% of the country’s industry based within the Auckland region.

The Destination New Zealand Superyacht Attraction Initiative Group (the Group) comprising Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED), Tourism New Zealand, NZ Marine and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, have been working in collaboration to make New Zealand a premium superyacht destination.

“It’s a fantastic outcome and is the result of organistions within the Group bringing their expertise together to really put New Zealand on the map as a superyacht destination,” said Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development Manager Tourism Jason Hill.

“Each superyacht contributes more than $1 million to the economy with each visit and in many cases in excess of $5million. This includes expenditure on tourism by the owners and crew and for berthage and marine services for the yacht.” 

“Auckland is renowned for its sailing and marine aptitude and valued for our internationally acclaimed superyacht new build, refit and maintenance capacity.” Hill said.

Significant benefits

The Group has a target to attract 74 superyachts to New Zealand by 2018 and efforts to attract superyachts are paying off, bringing significant benefits to New Zealand’s tourism and marine sectors.

Serene, the largest superyacht to visit Auckland at 134 metres, more than three times longer than the largest ferry operating in the harbour, is currently berthed at the new Silo Marina at Wynyard Quarter which has been purpose-built for superyachts.

“The $423 million yacht extended its stay in New Zealand so that it could carry out maintenance work, adding value to the marine sector,” Jason Hill said.

NZ Marine Executive Director Peter Busfield adds, “Recent regulation changes that allow visiting superyachts to stay for up to 24 months and also do some limited chartering whilst in New Zealand, is another incentive for superyachts to come from the Northern Hemisphere to the South Pacific and spend most of their time in New Zealand. Now, we are seeing the evidence of this with increased visitations.”   

“The experience Auckland offers both on and off the water, coupled with our marine expertise, is fast becoming a major drawcard for superyachts,” Mayor Len Brown says.

“A world-class city with shopping, dining and events on the marina’s doorstep and the relative anonymity of a visit here is also very enticing for superyacht owners,” he says.

The Big Blue

A promotional video produced by Tourism New Zealand entitled ‘The Big Blue’ took the superyachting world by storm when released in August last year. The video, which features the visiting Mayer family from the USA aboard their superyacht, received more than 35,000 views on social media channels in just one day.