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Carnival heralds summer as CLIA gets new partner

September 19, 2019 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Australia’s largest cruise operator Carnival Australia is on course for one of its biggest summer cruise seasons, featuring more than 600 calls to ports around the nation as well as the local debut of two spectacular ships – Princess Cruises’ Ruby Princess and Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Splendor.

The nation’s summer cruise season will begin with the arrival of Princess Cruises’ 3560-guest Majestic Princess which sails into Sydney on September 17, 2019 after visiting Darwin (September 10) and Brisbane (September 15).

The ship’s arrival will mark the start of 625 calls to 34 different ports around Australia by 19 ships from the seven cruise lines represented by Carnival Australia: Carnival Cruise Line, P&O Cruises, Princess Cruises, Cunard, Holland America Line, P&O Cruises World Cruising and Seabourn.

The ship visits will deliver around AUD 440 million in economic benefits to communities around Australia through passenger and crew spending, supplies and port charges, with the season set to close on April 29, 2020, when Seabourn Sojourn sails from Sydney.

Carnival Australia President Sture Myrmell said on Tuesday evening that the 2019-20 cruise season would feature an exciting range of ships as well as 50 inaugural port visits around the country for ships across the company’s cruise lines.

“This is going to be a summer cruise season to remember, with our cruise lines offering Australian holidaymakers a fantastic range of new itineraries and new ports across 19 great ships,” Myrmell said.

Carnival Australia President Sture Myrmell launches Carnival’s summer cruise season

“In fact the number of local port visits by our ships has grown by more than 50 per cent compared to the summer season 10 years ago, underlining not only the growing popularity of cruising, but also how much cruising has become part of the tourism fabric of our nation.”

Majestic Princess’s arrival not only marks the start of the summer cruise season but the largest in history for Princess in this region, featuring a record 141-day deployment in Western Australia as well as cruising from the east coast.

Myrmell said highlights of the season also include the first Australian visit by the 3084-guest Ruby Princess which will arrive in Sydney on October 23, 2019 and the Australian debut of the 3012-guest Carnival Splendor, which will sail into her new homeport of Sydney on December 10, 2019.  Her arrival means that Carnival Cruise Line will now have two full-time ships based in local waters.

Meanwhile, Australia’s homegrown cruise line P&O Cruises will continue to reach holidaymakers around the country, with its three ships making more than 200 visits to local ports including 11 maiden ship visits. Among the inaugural calls are Pacific Aria’s first visits to Melbourne (February 9, 2020), Hobart (February 11) and Adelaide (March 11).

Other inaugural ship and cruise line visits over the summer include Carnival Cruise Line’s first call to Adelaide (Carnival Spirit February 29, 2020); Cunard’s first call to Esperance in Western Australia, (Queen Elizabeth on December 9, 2020); Seabourn’s first call to Portland (Seabourn Encore on March 14, 2020) and Holland America’s first calls to Moreton Island (Maasdam on December 1, 2019); Portland (Maasdam on January 2, 2020) and Phillip Island (Maasdam on January 3, 2020).

Another significant date will be Queen Elizabeth’s December arrival in Australia marking the first time one of Cunard’s modern fleet has spent Christmas Down Under.

MEANWHILE, in another cruise industry initiative, Australasia’s biggest cruise destination has thrown its support behind the cruise industry, with the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency Destination NSW joining Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) as an Executive Partner.

The new partnership means Australia’s gateway port of Sydney and thriving regional destinations such as Eden, Newcastle and Port Kembla are now represented in the world’s largest cruise industry trade association.

New South Wales hosts the biggest share of Australia’s cruise visitors, welcoming 371 cruise ship visits during 2017-18, or almost a third of the national total.

CLIA Australasia Managing Director Joel Katz said NSW was now firmly positioned within the global cruise community, as the state worked to further develop its cruise economy.

“The international cruise industry makes an economic contribution worth more than $2.7 billion a year to NSW, thanks in part to Sydney’s standing as one of the world’s most desirable cruise ports,” Katz said.

“In recent years cruise lines have also expanded into other destinations including the Hunter, the Illawarra and the South Coast where some of Australia’s most successful regional ports are gaining attention,” he said.

“It’s a great pleasure to welcome Destination NSW to CLIA at a time when the state is making important steps towards increasing the tourism benefits of cruising.”

NSW Minister for Tourism Stuart Ayres said the state has nine cruise ports that offer striking natural beauty and unique experiences for all visitors.

“Sydney continues to be Australia’s cruise gateway, and one of the world’s most beautiful destinations with its iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney Opera House and pristine beaches,” he said.

“Sydney was named best cruise destination in Australia and New Zealand in the 2018 Cruiser’s Choice Destination Awards, which is based on passenger reviews. Cruise continues to be an important contributor to the NSW Government’s visitor economy target to triple overnight expenditure by 2030.”

Destination NSW joins other Australasian tourism organisations in CLIA’s Executive Partner program including Tourism Australia, Tourism New Zealand, Tourism Queensland, Tourism Western Australia and Tourism Northern Territory.

Edited by Peter Needham

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