Carnival welcomes Garden Island access

Carnival welcomes Garden Island access
By admin

Carnival Australia will use a decision to allow three cruise ships to berth at Garden Island over the next two seasons as a springboard to achieve a longer term solution for the cruise industry.

Prime minister Julia Gillard announced at the NSW Labor conference today (Sunday) that the Federal Government will guarantee access to the naval base for the three largest ships to visit Sydney for the next two seasons.

Carnival Australia chief executive Ann Sherry welcomed the decision and said it was sufficient for the industry’s immediate needs.

But Sherry added she looked forward to thrashing out a longer term solution for solving Sydney's cruise infrastructure issues.

“In allowing access to Garden Island, the Federal Government has recognised cruising as the standout success of Australian tourism and its growing contribution to the national economy,” she said.

"The alternative, where cruise ships would be forced to moor mid harbour before ferrying passengers to shore in tender boats, would not only give international visitors a poor introduction to Sydney but also act as a brake on cruise industry growth.

“It is a positive step that will help ensure Sydney continues to fulfill its role as an attractive international cruise destination, the gateway to cruise destinations throughout Australia and the hub for the world’s fastest growing cruise market.”

Carnival Australia has long advocated a 'three-berth solution' for Sydney; White Bay, an upgraded Overseas Passenger Terminal and shared use of Garden Island during peak cruise seasons.

Infrastructure improvement was vital to accommodate an increasing number of cruise ships that are too big to sail under the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the cruise line has argued.

Within three years, a third of cruise ships visiting Sydney will be unable to go under the bridge increasing to 56% of ships by 2020.

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