Carnival Australia launches record summer cruise season

Australia’s biggest cruise operator, Carnival Australia, has welcomed the start of its largest ever summer cruise season, with 19 ships from across its fleets set to make 310 calls to Australian ports and carry a record 325,000 passengers.

The cruise season – which launches this month and runs through to April – will feature the Australian debut of Carnival Cruise Lines’ Carnival Spirit, which will be based in Australia full time, as well as maiden visits from two other ships under the Carnival Australia umbrella, Holland America’s Oosterdam and the ultra-luxury Seabourn Quest.

Other highlights include the return of Cunard flagship Queen Mary 2, which will undertake her first ever circumnavigation of New Zealand in an historic round-trip voyage from Sydney in March 2013.

Carnival Australia CEO Ann Sherry said the benchmark summer cruise season reflected Australians’ growing interest in cruise holidays as well as the increasing popularity of Australian and New Zealand itineraries amongst international cruise lines.

With more ships cruising down under for longer periods, Ms Sherry said the number of international and Australian passengers travelling on Carnival Australia ships in Australian waters this season would reach a record 325,000 passengers – a 5 per cent rise on the last cruise season.

“In all, this cruise season we’ll carry more than triple the number of passengers who cruised with us eight years ago when Carnival Australia was first formed and had just seven ships sailing local waters,” Ms Sherry said.

She said a record 14 Carnival Australia ships would be based in Australian waters for all or some of the 2012-13 season to offer roundtrip cruises, with a further five ships visiting as part of their world cruising itineraries.

“We’ll be visiting more Australian ports than ever before, with 27 different towns and cities set to welcome our ships over the coming months,” Ms Sherry said.

“Collectively those visits will contribute more than $235 million to the Australian economy.”

Carnival Australia’s growth reinforces the continuing expansion of the Australian cruise industry which last year recorded the biggest ever increase in the number of Australians taking local and international cruise holidays, with passenger numbers rising 34 per cent to more than 620,000. 

Carnival Australia’s 19 ships include P&O Cruises’ Pacific Jewel, Pacific Dawn and Pacific Pearl; Cunard Line’s Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria; Princess Cruises’ Sun Princess, Dawn Princess, Sea Princess, Diamond Princess, Pacific Princess and Ocean Princess; P&O Cruises World Cruising’s Aurora and Arcadia, Seabourn’s Odyssey and Quest, Carnival Cruise Lines’ Carnival Spirit and Holland America’s Amsterdam, Volendam and Oosterdam.








  • 117 visits including one to Eden
  • 116 visits to Sydney by 18 different ships from the Carnival Australia fleet
  • Carnival Spirit debuts in Sydney on October 17 and will be based in Australia full time
  • Holland America’s Oosterdam makes her maiden call to Sydney on October 24
  • Seabourn Quest makes her maiden call on February 16
  • Queen Mary 2 will visit Sydney twice - on March 7 and 19 - as she undertakes her first ever circumnavigation of New Zealand, a roundtrip voyage from Sydney
  • Holland America’s Amsterdam will visit Eden on November 13
  • There will be 26 days where there are at least two Carnival Australia ships in the harbour, including Australia Day



  • 32 visits (including one to Geelong) by 10 different Carnival Australia ships
  • 31 Melbourne visits (including six overnight stays)
  • Carnival Spirit will make her maiden visit to Melbourne on February 16 and will offer three cruises from the Victorian capital
  • Holland America’s Oosterdam makes her maiden call to Melbourne on February 8
  • Dawn Princess will again be based in Melbourne offering 10 cruises from December to April
  • Highlights include Queen Mary 2’s second call to Melbourne on March 21 and  two P&O Cruises’ ships for Melbourne Cup day



  • 101 calls to Queensland ports by 16 different Carnival Australia ships.
  • Calls include 53 to Brisbane, 12 to Cairns (including Yorkeys Knob), 15 to the Whitsundays and nine to Port Douglas
  • Sun Princess will homeport from Brisbane from October 24, 2012 through to March 2013
  • Queen Mary 2 will make her second visit to Brisbane on March 5
  • Seabourn Quest will make her five maiden Queensland calls including Brisbane on February 14, Whitsundays on February 20, Townsville on February 21, Cairns on February 22 and Thursday Island on February 24.


Western Australia

  • Five different Carnival Australia ships will make 12 visits to WA ports including five to Fremantle, three to Albany and single calls to Geraldton, Bunbury, Exmouth and Esperance
  • Queen Mary 2 will call at Fremantle on March 26.



  • Seven different Carnival Australia ships will make 25 visits including 17 to Hobart, five to Burnie, two to Port Arthur and one to Coles Bay
  • Maiden visits will include Carnival Spirit calling at Burnie on March 16, Hobart on March 17 and Port Arthur on March 19 and HAL’s Oosterdam in Hobart on Oct 26
  • Hobart will enjoy the benefits of three overnight visits - one by Dawn Princess, one by Carnival Spirit and one by HAL’s Volendam.

South Australia

  • Five different Carnival Australia will make eight visits to South Australia
  • There will be five visits to Adelaide, two to Kangaroo Island (Volendam and Amsterdam) and one to Port Lincoln (Volendam)
  • Queen Mary 2 will visit Adelaide on March 23

Northern Territory

  • The Northern Territory will enjoy 14 visits by nine ships including five Princess ships.
  • Diamond Princess will visit twice on December 7 and March 15

Norfolk Island

  • The territory of Norfolk Island will also receive one visit on October 20, 2012.