Cruise

Carnival to bring $500 million for Aussie tourism with bumper season

Carnival Australia’s ships are set for a bumper cruise season with 696 calls hitting Australian ports projected to generate $500 million in economic activity.

The peak cruise season begins on Saturday, September 15, when Princess Cruises’ flagship Majestic Princess makes a spectacular arrival in her new home port of Sydney for her maiden season Down Under.

Majestic Princess is one of 20 different ships across Carnival Australia brands to sail in Australian waters during the summer cruise season from September to April next year including maiden calls to Batemans Bay in NSW and Flinders Island in Tasmania.

The 20 ships between them will make an unprecedented 696 calls to ports around Australia, up 13 per cent on the previous summer season’s record of 616 calls – with local cruises featuring prominently among cruise holidays on offer.

The calls will be made to 38 different Australian ports, compared to 33 ports last year, enabling the economic benefit of the cruise season to spread even further.

Carnival Australia President Sture Myrmell said the estimated $500 million economic contributions to local ports over the summer cruise season would include passenger and crew spending, supplies and port charges.

“In 2008-09, our ships made fewer than 200 calls to local ports over the cruise season,”  Myrmell said.

“That number has more than tripled over the past decade as more and more Australians have discovered that not only is cruising a great holiday, it’s also a fantastic way to explore our country.”

The local season will include a number of inaugural visits, including the first-ever calls by a Carnival Australia ship to Batemans Bay and Flinders Island when Seabourn Sojourn sails into those ports on December 12 and December 16 respectively.

“With cruise industry figures showing that local cruising continues to grow in strength, we’re very excited to be adding even more Australian destinations to the cruise map this summer,” Mr Myrmell said.

Queensland will attract more than a third of the visits, with Carnival Australia’s ships scheduled to make 247 calls to 11 different Queensland ports – a 30 per cent increase on last summer’s 190 visits.

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