With the return of cruising on the horizon, Australia’s main cruise organisation, Carnival Australia, is unveiling plans for its ships to make about 140 calls to Queensland ports this year in a commitment worth an expected $165 million to the state’s economy.
And the organisation’s homegrown cruise line, P&O Cruises Australia, is poised to lead the cruising comeback in Brisbane, which has the only purpose-built cruise terminal in Australia with the new Brisbane International Cruise Terminal (BICT).
P&O Cruises Australia’s first voyage 90 years ago included Brisbane, and it is fitting the cruise line’s Pacific Explorer is scheduled to make the inaugural call to the new BICT on June 2.
Two weeks later, Princess Cruises Coral Princess will begin her maiden Australian deployment in Brisbane, setting sail on June 16 with a three-night cruise, the first of 21 cruises from the Queensland capital in 2022/23.
Then on August 20, P&O Cruises Australia will base its latest ship, Pacific Encounter, in Brisbane for her first season Down Under, sailing on 24 cruises in 2022.
Detailing the plans in Brisbane today, Carnival Australia President Marguerite Fitzgerald said Queensland is once again set to be the linchpin of cruising in Australia after a two-year pause in cruising operations.
Earlier this week, the Federal Government announced the ban on cruise ships entering Australian waters would lapse from April 17. The next step is for states to finalise health and safety protocols for the final greenlight for cruising’s return.
“Like our guests, we can’t wait to return to Queensland. Not only do Queenslanders love to cruise, the State has a fantastic selection of ports that are among our domestic and international guests’ favourite destinations, from Cairns in the north to Moreton Island in the south,” Ms Fitzgerald said.
Ms Fitzgerald said the seven cruise lines represented by Carnival Australia - P&O Cruises Australia, Princess Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line, Cunard, Holland America Line, Seabourn and P&O Cruises World Cruising - expected to make about 140 calls to six Queensland ports this year, including 40 turnaround calls in Brisbane for Coral Princess and Pacific Encounter.
The calls will inject an estimated $165 million into the economy through guest and crew spending, port fees, maritime logistics, shore tours and supplies, including the purchase of local goods and produce.
Ms Fitzgerald said P&O Cruises Australia was honoured to have the first ship scheduled to call at Brisbane’s new cruise terminal given Brisbane featured on the cruise line’s first ever Australian cruise itinerary in 1932, and P&O was the first cruise line to homeport a ship in Brisbane in 2004.