The Australian cruise industry is booming and this year’s upcoming 2014/15 summer season is set to be the biggest on record! According to Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Australasia, a huge 36 ships have their sights set on Australian waters over the next few months. The 36 vessels will be making over 642 scheduled port calls across the nation, from Western Australia’s Fremantle Harbour to Queensland’s Port Douglas.
Brett Jardine, CLIA general manager said, “Cruising generates economic benefits for Australia 12 months of the year, but there is always a peak over the summer period so it’s fabulous that we’ll be hitting a new record over the coming months.”
A handful of exciting newcomers
Of these 36 vessels, three will be making their debut appearance in Australian waters. Carnival Legend is one of the newbies, set to sail into Sydney on September 22 2014. Legend will be followed by Compagnie du Ponant’s 132 cabin mega-yacht L’Austral which is set to cruise into Cape York on Christmas Eve. MSC Orchestra will bring up the rear and is scheduled to arrive in sunny Cairns on March 13 2015.
Maiden calls to both regional towns and major metropolises
It’s an incredibly exciting season for the Australian cruise industry, with the ships set to make 38 maiden port calls to some of Australia’s up and coming destinations. These include WA’s Busselton, Esperance and Albany as well as Eden, Port Hedland and Geelong.
“It’s also wonderful to see there will be 38 maiden port calls, up from 17 last year. So many maiden visits, particularly in regional towns, means that more holiday-makers are being introduced to more parts of Australia, which is great news for local communities.”
Australia is a nation of cruise lovers!
The increase in cruise vessel presence complements recent statistics from Cruise Lines International Association, which revealed that Australia boasts the world’s fastest growing passenger market. Since 2013, the number of Aussie cruisers has risen to over 800,000, representing a 20% increase!
According to Jardine, there has also been an increase in the number of round trips from the major Australian cities of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Fremantle. While 2013/14 clocked up 202 round trips, this season will see 253 return voyages.
“This summer we will be seeing growth across the board — the total number of Australian calls has risen from 588 last year to 642 this year, the number of round-trip cruises has also increased significantly, which means there will be greater economic returns all around,” he explains.
During September’s National Cruise Week, a huge number of places on-board the 36 Australia bound vessels were snapped up by holidaymakers with an eye for a bargain. Thankfully there are still plenty of places left and if you want to secure a fantastic deal, enlist the help of the experts at Cruise 1st. With great deals from all the leading lines, you can make sure you’re a part of what’s set to be the biggest summer cruise season on record!
Images sourced via Flickr Creative Commons. Credit: skysography