All aboard as Carnival Australia embarks on record Summer season
The country’s largest cruise operator Carnival Australia has launched Australia’s biggest ever summer cruise season, with the Sydney arrival of Princess Cruises’ Diamond Princess today.
Over the coming months, Carnival Australia will have an unprecedented 22 ships from its seven cruise lines sailing in local waters, including more than 170 calls to Australia’s cruising gateway, Sydney.
Speaking at Circular Quay today, Carnival Australia CEO Ann Sherry said the ships represented nearly a quarter of Carnival Corporation’s worldwide fleet.
Between them, the 22 ships will carry more than 530,000 cruisers – more than the population of Tasmania – over the summer period. In total the ships will make 538 turnaround and transit calls to Australian ports from today through to the end of April 2016 – 21 per cent more than in 2014-15 – adding significantly to the industry’s estimated $4 billion economic contribution.
“Each year for the past decade we have announced that another record summer cruise season is imminent and, with more than one million Australians a year now cruising, this year is no exception,” Ms Sherry said.
“In 2005-2006, we heralded a bumper cruise season with 10 ships from across our fleets sailing locally and making 141 calls to Australian ports. A decade on the number of ships has more than doubled and the number of local calls has more than tripled.”
The 22 ships sailing in Australian waters represents a 10 per cent increase on last year’s summer season and includes P&O Cruises’ latest ships, Pacific Aria and Pacific Eden, which will join the cruise line’s existing three ships in November; six Princess Cruises’ ships, including Golden Princess on its maiden Australian deployment, and two Carnival Cruise Line ships.
Meanwhile, three Holland America Line ships will sail here over summer including Noordam on its maiden visit, along with world voyage visits by all three Cunard Queens, two ships from P&O Cruises World Cruising and one Seabourn vessel.
Ms Sherry said one of the standout features of cruise season was the vast quantities of Australian primary produce that Carnival Australia’s brands purchase including around 1.5 million kilograms of beef annually.
“The huge quantities we purchase in a typical year making the local agriculture sector one of the big winners from cruising,” Ms Sherry said.
“Cruise tourism continues as the standout success of the Australian tourism sector and with every cruise season the number of suppliers who benefit from its long value chain continues to grow.”