Australia sails into another bumper year

Australia is set to be the scene for yet another bumper summer cruising season, with 642 ships planned to visit ports around the country.

Australia is set to be the scene for yet another bumper summer cruising season, with 642 ships planned to visit ports around the country.

Latest figures compiled by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Australasia show that its member cruise lines will have 36 ships cruising Australian waters between October and April 2015 making a total of 642 calls to Australian ports.

Notably, this season will include a number of record-worthy events including the arrival of three ships making their maiden visits to Australia: Carnival Cruise Lines’ Carnival Legend on September 22; Compagnie du Ponant’s L’Austral which will make its first call to Australia on December 24; and MSC Orchestra which will arrive in Cairns on March 13, 2015.

Cruise lines will also make 38 maiden port calls to a range of cities and regional towns including Busselton, Eden, Esperance, Albany, Port Hedland and Geelong.

“This summer we’ll be seeing growth across the board – not only have the total number of Australian calls risen from 588 last year to 612 this year, the number of roundtrip cruises has also increased significantly, which means there’ll be greater economic returns all round,”

CLIA Director, Brett Jardine said.

“It’s also wonderful to see there’ll be 38 maiden port calls, up from 17 last year. So many maiden visits, particularly in regional towns, means that more holidaymakers are being introduced to more parts of Australia, which is great news for local communities.”

The 34 ships includes seven which are based in Australia year-round, another 11 which will be deployed for all or part of the summer cruise season and 16 ships which will visit Australia. Between them they will carry tens of thousands of Australian and international tourists.

The latest figures show Australia is the fastest growing major passenger source market with Australian cruisers rising by 20 per cent in 2013 to reach 833,348.

The data comes on the launch of Cruise Week today, CLIA’s Australia-wide consumer promotion, which will conclude on 8 September.

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