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Australia sets sail for one of its cruisiest years yet

October 6, 2017 Cruise No Comments Email Email

With October marking the official start of  Australia’s 2017/2018 Summer Cruise season, travellers are again gearing up for a busy season at sea.

Australia is the fifth-largest market for cruise passengers in the world, with Australian cruise passenger numbers growing by almost 20 per cent annually over the past decade.

Close to 60 cruise ships will sail in Australian waters, carrying out more than 1200 port calls around the country.

Managing Director CLIA Australasia & Asia Joel Katz said the strong upcoming season reflects the continuing growth of popularity in cruises for Australian travellers.

“Australia has the highest population penetration of cruises in the world,” Mr Katz said.  “Last year, a record number of close to 1.3 million Australians took a cruise.”

Australia will welcome a number of ships making their maiden voyages to our shores this season; including two CLIA member ships, Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Jewel, and Oceania Cruises’ Regatta.

Additionally, seven CLIA cruise lines will be making their first-ever calls to a range of ports from Thursday Island in Queensland to Wineglass Bay in Tasmania, while across these fleets, individual ships will be making close to 50 maiden calls to coastal towns and cities.

Cruising has shown itself to be big business in Australia – during 2016/17 cruising contributed more than $5 billion to the Australian economy, and helped support around 21,000 jobs in the process.

“Australians have shown that they’re keen to experience the best that cruising has to offer, and there really is a ship for everyone with more and more lines sending their ships south for the summer”, Mr Katz added.

The start of the cruise season coincides with the start of Plan a Cruise Month. Running through October, this promotion will see CLIA working with CLIA member agents to promote cruise, and cruise lines will be offering great deals throughout the month.

Highlights of the peak summer period include:

  • Oceania Cruises’ Regatta arrives in Burnie on 15 December, 2017 on its inaugural Australian visit
  • Celebrity Cruises reinstates its weekend sampler cruise for Australian travellers onboard Celebrity Solstice, after a three-year hiatus
  • Azamara Club Cruises’ Azamara Journey returns via the west coast for the first time in January 2018, with her local season culminating in the epic 102-night World Journey – calling to 60 ports in 29 countries – departing Sydney in March.
  • Crystal Cruises has announced its first-ever voyage to Papua New Guinea, with two ships embarking at Sydney on 17 February, 2018
  • Princess Cruises will be launching phase two of its popular trans-Tasman cruises, with uniquely New Zealand experiences via interactive and engaging onboard and shore activities
  • Seabourn has announced a new 152-day Great Oceans Exploration from Miami to Vancouver via South America, Africa, the Asian Sub-Continent, South East Asia, Australia & North Asia.

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