This summer is expected be the biggest season to date for cruise ship industry, according to an industry spokesperson.
Adam Armstrong, regional manager of Royal Caribbean, said about 1 million Australians and 60,000 New Zealanders went on cruises each year.
11 new ships were expected this season, in an industry that was worth about $500 million to the economy.
Mr Armstrong said the average age of cruise ship passengers had fallen to the low 40s and many families were going cruising as well.
He said some cruise liners carried 5000 passengers and 1500 crew, and that could bring up to $1m a day to a port.
"You've got a small town of 6500 people descending on a port, they can bring between half a million to a million dollars per visit, per day - a massive cash injection.
"And these cruises are calling all the way up the coast, five or six or seven ports per cruise, you're getting multi-million dollar investment from these guests."
About 250,000 passengers were expected this season.