Australia’s ports are set for a bumper cruise season with industry leader Carnival Australia-brand ships making a record 696 calls generating around $500 million in economic activity.
As the country’s biggest cruise operator, Carnival Australia represents seven iconic cruise lines -- Princess Cruises, P&O Cruises Australia, Carnival Cruise Line, Cunard, Holland America Line, Seabourn and P&O Cruises World Cruising.
The peak cruise season begins on Saturday, September 15, when Princess Cruises’ flagship Majestic Princess makes a spectacular arrival in her new home port of Sydney for her maiden season Down Under.
Majestic Princess is one of 20 different ships across Carnival Australia brands to sail in Australian waters during the summer cruise season from September to April next year including maiden calls by Seabourn Sojourn to Batemans Bay in NSW and Beauty Point (near Launceston) in Tasmania.
The 20 ships between them will make an unprecedented 696 calls to ports around Australia, up 13 per cent on the previous summer season’s record of 616 calls – with local cruises featuring prominently among cruise holidays on offer.
The 696 calls will be made to 38 different Australian ports, compared to 33 ports last year, enabling the economic benefit of the cruise season to spread even further.
Carnival Australia President Sture Myrmell said the estimated $500 million economic contribution to local ports over the summer cruise season would include passenger and crew spending, supplies and port charges.
“In 2008-09, our ships made fewer than 200 calls to local ports over the cruise season. That number has more than tripled over the past decade as more and more Australians have discovered that not only is cruising a great holiday, it’s also a fantastic way to explore our country,” Mr Myrmell said.
The local season will include a number of inaugural visits including Seabourn Sojourn’s calls to Batemans Bay on the NSW South Coast and Beauty Point in Tasmania on December 12 and December 16 respectively.
“With cruise industry figures showing that local cruising continues to grow in strength, we’re very excited to be adding even more Australian destinations to the cruise map this summer,” Mr Myrmell said.
Queensland will attract more than a third of the visits, with Carnival Australia’s ships scheduled to make 247 calls to 11 different Queensland ports – a 30 per cent increase on last summer’s 190 visits.
Other highlights of the summer cruise season include:
The maiden season of Princess Cruises’ flagship Majestic Princess, which will be based in Sydney for six months from September 2018 to March 2019
P&O Cruises’ first ever three-ship deployment in Brisbane, with Pacific Jewel sailing alongside the Brisbane home-ported Pacific Dawn and Pacific Aria from September to early November, 2018
A record two-month season of cruises from Sydney and Melbourne for Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth during February and March 2019 – the longest Australian deployment of one of Cunard’s current fleet of Queens
Cunard’s maiden call to Burnie when Queen Elizabeth visits on February 18, 2019
P&O’s biggest ever Adelaide program, featuring a record 12 cruises from January 30 to mid-March 2019
Princess Cruises’ inaugural call to Moreton Island on January 7, 2019
A record nine cruises from Melbourne for Carnival Cruise Line
Seven maiden Australian calls for Holland America Line ships: Maasdam’s call to Norfolk Island on November 29, 2018; Bunbury on January 5, 2019, Broome on January 11, 2019 and Kuri Bay on January 12, 2019; and Noordam’s calls to Gladstone on December 9, 2018, Airlie Beach on December 18, 2018 and Newcastle on March 30, 2019.
Nine maiden Australian calls for Seabourn with Seabourn Sojourn visiting Fraser Island on December 8, 2018; Batemans Bay in NSW on December 12, 2018; Port Arthur on December 15, 2018; Beauty Point on December 16, 2018; Port Lincoln in South Australia on December 22, 2018; Broome on January 1, 2019 and Kuri Bay in WA on January 3, 2019, followed by scenic cruising in The Kimberley on January 4, 2019. Seabourn Encore will make the cruise line’s first visit to Airlie Beach in Queensland on December 16, 2018.