Cruise

Q&A with Carnival CEO on Aussie ports and bad press: “We need to find solutions”

Alexandra Coulton

Cunard has announced a bunch of new Aussie partnerships that we’re pretty damn excited about.

Ahead of its record Australian season in February and March 2019, Cunard will be teaming up with R.M. Williams and Akubra to design a new distinctly Australian uniform to replace their trademark black and red bellboy get-ups.

They’ve also teamed up with Melbourne-based whiskey distillery STARWARD who have placed a 225-litre barrel of Australian whiskey inboard Queen Elizabeth’s top deck to soak up the sea air as it spends the next 12 months travelling the world before it’s opened next February at the start of the ships Aussie season.

Not to mention the iconic Australian Dance Theatre, who will be leaping on board for the cruise line’s first-ever special event cruise, featuring the ADT’s latest international work, “the beginning of nature”.

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To find out more about the new partnerships and discuss other hot topics in cruising, Travel Weekly sat down with President of Carnival Australia, which represents Cunard, Sture Myrmell.

“I think the new uniforms are gonna be spectacular,” said Myrmell.

“Those uniforms are now known the world over.

“We had a number of them out in the streets of Melbourne, the Bellboys from the Queen Mary two, and they were like celebrities.

“So I’m excited to see what RM Williams are gonna do with those uniforms.”

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As we reported last year, Sydney’s lack of docking space for major cruise ships has proved to be a huge challenge for cruise companies and a potential threat to Australian tourism.

Myrmell said Cunard are working with the New South Wales government to find a solution,

“For the industry to continue growing, we need to find solutions to infrastructure challenges.

“We also have the opportunity to send Australians on fly cruises, that’s another way of growing the overall popularity of cruising.

“But fundamentally, we have to find a solution to the infrastructure.”

According to Myrmell, Sydney isn’t the only place with port restrictions issues,

“We have challenges here in Sydney, we have challenges in Brisbane, we have challenges in Melbourne, we have challenges in Auckland, we have challenges in the islands”

“There is no clear solution right now.

We are working with Port of Brisbane, so I think we’re making some progress there, Melbourne its still early days and you’ll see there is some movement in Auckland as well.

There are some solutions coming up there so it’s moving in the right direction.”

When asked about how Carnival has dealt with the recent bad press surrounding a few unruly passengers, Myrmell assured us excessive behaviour is not tolerated by anyone on any of their ships.

“We have an in-depth investigation going on there, we are making sure that everyone is fully aware of how we operate and how we manage situations”

“Generally cruising is a safe and enjoyable form of vacation and I think [people] should be comfortable that it’s a safe environment to have a holiday in,” he added.

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

  • gina

    Dear TW, My husband and I were unfortunate enough to be full paying passengers on this cruise that Mr Myrmell is referring to, and I can assure you it is a total camouflage by Carnival to disguise that this whole mess was going on from Day one, and could have been so easily nipped in the bud if only the staff had implemented their so called zero tolerance policy. We are more than happy to speak to Mr. Myrmell and tell him the cold hard facts, which obviously have been hidden from him. We have already emailed Carnival and found their response totally unacceptable and not addressing the facts as they really are.

  • Daisy Doctor

    Hi Gina, thanks so much for getting in touch. Please contact our editor Daisy Doctor at daisydoctor@travelweekly.com.au to discuss this further.
    Cheers

  • Bruce

    I thought they were Canadian Mounties in the photo until I read the article.

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