Carnival Australia’s record breaking summer cruise season wraps up
Another record-breaking summer cruise season wraps up for Australia’s largest cruise operator Carnival Australia on April 21 as Holland America Line’s Noordam sailed from Sydney.
Season highlights included a record 696 port calls in Australia and economic activity estimated at around half a billion dollars.
The spectacular arrival of Majestic Princess on September 15 – the largest Princess ship ever to sail in Australia – kicked off the season.
Cunard based its magnificent Queen Elizabeth in Australia for 54 days, the prelude to 101 days in 2019-20 and 118 days in 2020-21.
Australia’s homegrown P&O Cruises made a record 334 calls to Australian ports during the season – 17 per cent more than the previous summer, nearly half of Carnival Australia’s total port calls.
Carnival Australia President Sture Myrmell said the record number of port calls by Carnival Australia-brand ships reflected Australia’s love affair with cruising and domestic cruise itineraries in particular.
“We’re delighted to celebrate another exciting summer cruise season with the increase in local cruise itineraries spreading the economic benefit of the cruise season even further,” Mr Myrmell said. “The 2018-19 summer season was another high point for Carnival Australia with the promise of more to come as our ships based year round in Australia keep the magic going.
“Majestic Princess’s amazing runway arrival on Sydney Harbour captured everyone’s imagination and we celebrated Queen Elizabeth’s home porting with Cunard partnering with four iconic Australian brands — R.M.Williams, Akubra, Starward Whisky and the Australian Dance Theatre.
“Dressing Cunard’s iconic bellboys in an all Australian look for Queen Elizabeth’s Australian-based cruises, and taking them on a cross continental journey of discovery, was simply awesome.”
Other highlights of the 2018-19 summer cruise season included:
- The maiden season of Princess Cruises’ Majestic Princess, which was home ported in Sydney from September 2018 to March 2019. Following a very successful season, Majestic is set to return to Australia in September this year – with the upcoming 2019-20 season also set to represent the ship’s largest ever Australian deployment
- Princess Cruises also expanded its guest-favourite Across the Ditch program in New Zealand – launching two industry-first overland excursions and more than twenty exclusive shore tours
- Carnival Cruise Line increased the amount of ‘Fun Size’ 3-5 day cruises by almost 40% compared to the previous wave season off the back of demand for short breaks away
- The summer cruise season was the sixth Down Under for Carnival Spirit which has home ported in Sydney, Australia year-round since 2012.
- In 2020, Carnival Spirit will move to her new home port in Brisbane to cater for growing demand in Queensland
- A record two-month season of cruises from Sydney and Melbourne for Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth during February and March 2019 – the longest Australian deployment of Cunard’s current fleet of Queens
- Cunard’s maiden call to Hobart when Queen Elizabeth visited on February 18, 2019
- P&O’s biggest ever Adelaide program, featuring a record 12 cruises from January 30 to mid-March 2019
- Five of Princess Cruises ships sailed in local waters this season: Majestic Princess, Golden Princess (which returns in October for a fourth season of cruising from Melbourne), the locally-based Sun Princess and Sea Princess, and Pacific Princess which visited as part of a world cruise.
- A record nine cruises from Melbourne for Carnival Cruise Line
- Seven maiden Australian calls for Holland America Line ships: Maasdam’s call to Norfolk Island on November 29, 2018; Bunbury on January 5, 2019, Broome on January 11, 2019 and Kuri Bay on January 12, 2019; and Noordam’s calls to Gladstone on December 9, 2018, Airlie Beach on December 18, 2018 and Newcastle on March 30, 2019.
- Nine maiden Australian calls for Seabourn with Seabourn Sojourn visiting Fraser Island on December 8, 2018; Batemans Bay in NSW on December 12, 2018; Port Arthur on December 15, 2018; Beauty Point on December 16, 2018; Port Lincoln in South Australia on December 22, 2018; Broome on January 1, 2019 and Kuri Bay in WA on January 3, 2019, followed by scenic cruising in The Kimberley on January 4, 2019. Seabourn Encore will make the cruise line’s first visit to Airlie Beach in Queensland on December 16, 2018.