Queensland’s Port of Townsville expansion complete: port expects cruise boom!

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Townsville is headed for a tourism boom after new cruise berth was recently added to seaport.

The Port of Townsville’s recently expanded seaport is set to welcome 15 cruise ships over the next 15 months, once the port’s new berth officially opens in October 2013.  Around 11,200 passengers are expected to disembark in the terminal during this time.  In addition, another 20 visits to the terminal are scheduled from Royal Australian Navy ships.

The first ship arriving at the Townsville seaport is Holland America Line’s ms Volendam. This ship is 238m long and carries almost 1,500 passengers.

In total, 15 vessels from Holland America Line, P&O, Carnival and Seabourn Cruise Line are confirmed to be visiting the port.  They are scheduled between October 2013 and late 2014. A Townsville Bulletin report suggested the upcoming ‘cruise boom’ should provide a well-needed injection of tourism dollars for the local economy.

The Port of Townsville acting chief executive Ranee Crosby spoke about the port’s potential:

“With dedicated facilities, we are now able to very actively engage with cruise shipping companies to include Townsville as a stopover port and we expect visitation numbers will grow as the city matures as a cruise tourism destination.”

It was previously estimated that the Port of Townsville would attract 15 cruise ships per year after the terminal was opened, so the statistics for the port’s first 15 months are very encouraging.

Speaking about the bookings, Townsville Chamber president Dawson Wilkie said:

“That’s people coming into Townsville … Fifteen in the first 15 months is pretty good. Larger cruise ships that carry more than about 2000 passengers are too big to enter the port and will continue to anchor offshore, ferrying passengers in, a method that is common internationally.”

The seaport is working with Townsville Enterprise and Tourism Queensland to develop a strategy to attract cruise ships to the region.  Next month, Townsville Enterprise will make a presentation at the Cruise Down Under conference in Cairns. The conference will be attended by cruise ship companies and will allow TEL to meet operators face-to-face and market Townsville as a destination.

About Queensland’s Port of Townsville terminal:

Townsville’s Cruise Terminal is a fantastic hub for visitors who wish to explore the wonders of North Queensland.

The $85 million upgrade to the Port of Townsville’s existing terminal facility has provided cruise liners with a dedicated berth.

In addition, the port’s new terminal facility offers tourists a range of beautiful waterfront walkways to explore, each of which lead to most of the city’s major tourist attractions.

The port terminal offers views of Castle Hill and Magnetic Island.  The 1,000 sqm terminal offers an interchangeable, multi-purpose space that can be hired out by the public for a range of events, including wedding receptions, exhibitions and dinner functions.

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About Author

Lily Egge

Lily is in her mid 60’s and loves cruising. She and her partner have cruised on at least 40 cruises so far and there is much more to see. They usually travel on a balcony cabin, especially at Christmas where they celebrate on the cruise with the family. She lives in Manifold Heights in Victoria. Lily writes for Cruise 1st on a regular basis.

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