As the last cruise ship of Wellington port's record-breaking season docks in the capital, 2020 numbers are expected to rise higher.
Over 220,000 cruise passengers from 110 vessels poured into the region during 2018-2019 cruise season, worth an estimated US$56 million to the economy.
The first ship of the season to arrive was also the last to call, with an Easter Monday berthing of Radiance of the Seas drawing the cruise season to a close. Over 120 ships are scheduled to visit for the next season that starts in October.
The record-breaking cruise season was predicted in 2018 with an extra 50,000 cruise passengers due to arrive in the port city, beating the previous record of 90 ship calls set in 2012-2013. Mid-January was the busiest of the season, with ten ships visiting in a single week, pouring 17,500 passengers into the port.