Canterbury Tourism says cruise ships have been a lifeline for the region and it is not concerned that fewer are to visit Akaroa and Lyttelton during summer.
The organisation says 75 ships will dock in Akaroa Harbour between October and May, compared with 86 last year.
It says while fewer ships are coming, they are bigger so the number of passengers is similar.
Canterbury Tourism's business development manager Caroline Blanchfield says passengers keep the local tourism industry alive.
Ms Blanchfield says they are perfect visitors for the earthquake-damaged city of Christchurch, because they come for one day and do not need hotel rooms.