P&O Cruises Australia Flagship Pacific Explorer in Spectacular Hobart Arrival

Local Business Community Hails the Return of Cruise Visitors After More Than Two Years

P&O Cruises Australia flagship Pacific Explorer on a cruise from Sydney made a spectacular welcome to Hobart today bringing the first major cruise line visitors to Tasmania after an absence of more than two years. 

Pacific Explorer’s arrival was hailed by local businesses and cruise suppliers as another positive step for the visitor economy and for the rebuilding of Australia’s $5 billion a year cruise industry. 

It is one of 62 ship calls to Tasmanian destinations by 10 ships from six of Carnival Australia’s cruise brands during the current summer cruise season to the end of April next year, adding $34.7 million to the state economy.

“It is a great source of pride that our homegrown cruise line P&O Cruises Australia is the first major cruise line to have a ship return to Tasmania following the end of the two-year cruise pause,” said Marguerite Fitzgerald, President of Carnival Australia and P&O Cruises Australia. 

“We are grateful to Premier Jeremy Rockliff, the Tasmanian Government and its various authorities for their support for today’s visit by Pacific Explorer and for the resumption of cruising to Tasmania with its numerous attractive destinations. 

“Cruising is resuming in a careful and phased way in line with protocols that have already proved effective with thousands of Australians having already enjoyed cruising on our ships since restart at the end of May.

“During this period, the cruising experience and its features have returned much the same as previously, Australia, New Zealand and Pacific nations have reopened and the 2022-23 summer cruise season is exceeding expectations.”

Premier Rockliff said: “Cruise ship visits are an important contributor to Tasmania’s visitor economy and many Tasmanian businesses are celebrating today’s arrival of the Pacific Explorer and the start of the 2022-23 cruise season.”

Pacific Explorer’s arrival is positive news for the ‘cruising ecosystem’ — businesses and destinations that benefit from cruising — and they couldn’t be happier than in the local tourism mecca of Richmond. 

These include Kim Kay, owner of the popular Richmond Bakery, and Rod Brett, who with his wife, holds the lease on the colonial era Richmond Gaol, which both saw a steady stream of cruise visitors prior to the pause. 

“We can’t wait and we are very excited about the cruise ships coming back,” Ms Kay said. “The last three months are the best we’ve had in the business over the past 15 years with school holidays in various states. We have been using it as a bit of a practice run and hopefully the cruise ships will bring more people. We are looking forward to it.”

After two difficult years for tourism, Rod Brett says the Richmond Gaol attraction has again seen a steady flow of visitors with cruise ships soon to add to the numbers. “The cruise ships will mean more people coming to see us and, as we expect, the protocols will be in place to do this safely,” Mr Brett said. 

Cruise supplier Huon Aquaculture’s Corporate Communications Manager Pene Snashall said: “As a proud supplier of premium farmed Tasmanian salmon, we are pleased to welcome P&O Cruises Australia back to Hobart.

“As Australia’s only RSPCA-approved seafood producer, cruise passengers will taste the most sustainable, ethically farmed protein in the world. We’re sure P&O’s wonderful staff will ensure their guests can dine on Huon Salmon at any time day or night.”

Jill Abel, CEO of Australian Cruise Association said, “There is enormous excitement around the return of cruise to Tasmania. Visits by cruise ships such as Pacific Explorer make a critical contribution to the economy bringing with them passengers, crew and cruise line expenditure. Cruise calls contribute not only to local businesses but also help fund important conservation projects at historic sites and wildlife rescue operations. 

“An astounding 25% of ships visiting Hobart this season will overnight here, enabling passengers to disperse beyond gateway cities to regional areas to experience, for example, wonderful culinary offerings as well as visiting local wine, whisky and gin distilleries. 

“We look forward to welcoming more cruise ships to Hobart and Tasmania’s other regional ports as they herald the restart of cruise and its valued contribution.”

For more information on P&O Cruises Australia and itineraries to Tasmania, visit www.pocruises.com.au