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Australia Sails into Busiest Cruise Season on Record

September 3, 2013 Cruise No Comments Email Email

Ports around Australia are set to reap the benefits from almost 600 visits by cruise ships over the coming months as the nation sails into its busiest summer cruise season yet.

New figures compiled by the national cruise body, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Australasia, show that its member cruise lines will have a record 34 ships cruising Australian waters between October 1, 2013 and April 30, 2014, compared to 33 ships over the same period in 2012-13.

Between them, the ships will make 588 calls to Australian ports with many regional ports enjoying

Brett Jardine

Brett Jardine

calls, from Eden in NSW to Geelong in Victoria, Robe in South Australia and Exmouth in Western Australia.

CLIA Australasia General Manager Brett Jardine said the 2013-14 season would also see an unprecedented 202 roundtrip cruises offered from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Fremantle, enabling more Australians than ever before to cruise from their doorstep.

Mr Jardine said the number of visits to Australian ports was great news for the economy.

“As cruising grows in popularity we’re seeing new opportunities open up for smaller ports along our coast to share in that growth and build their local tourism which is very exciting,” Mr Jardine said.

“It’s a win-win – passengers love the new destinations and different ports, while communities benefit from the economic value each ship brings, as passengers take in the sights and enjoy local tours and shopping. Each ship visit can inject up to $500,000 into a port, so they make an important contribution.

“Cruising is a year round industry for Australia now, but a busy summer season like this will be worth hundreds of millions of dollars to our economy,” Mr Jardine said.

The new figures come at the start of National Cruise Week, CLIA’s Australia-wide consumer promotion which will run from September 2-9. (www.nationalcruiseweek.com.au). CLIA’s international membership includes nearly 60 major cruise line brands, which represent approximately 98 per cent of the global cruise industry.

Mr Jardine said 15 different cruise ships from CLIA member fleets would operate roundtrip cruises from Australia over summer, while 19 other ships would visit during the season, delivering an ocean of choice to consumers.

The upcoming cruise season will see a rise in the number of Australian port calls from 559 in 2012-13, while roundtrip cruises will grow more than 10 per cent from 183 last season.

“This summer season will see a wide range of ships sailing our waters, from the impressive Queen Mary 2 and Voyager of the Seas to the boutique Silver Whisper and Seabourn Odyssey, so it will really demonstrate the many different styles of cruise holidays now available,” Mr Jardine said.

Among the ship visits are 17 maiden port calls by Seabourn Sojourn (visiting Eden, Burnie, Geelong, Kangaroo Island, Bunbury, Geraldton, Exmouth), APT’s MS Caledonian Sky (visits to Darwin, Port Essington, Wessel Islands, Geelong, Macquarie Island, Norfolk Island, Ashmore Reef) and P&O Cruises Pacific Pearl (visiting Robe, Port Lincoln and Kangaroo Island).

The record cruise season reinforces Australia’s position as one of the fastest growing cruise markets in the world. Official industry figures show the number of Australian cruise passengers has grown by an average 20 per cent a year over the past decade, with almost 700,000 Australians enjoying a cruise in 2012.

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