Australia ready for summer cruise renaissance
August 25, 2022 – Australia’s tourism industry is preparing for a resurgent summer cruise season, with 46 ships bringing economic opportunities back to ports around the country as part of a carefully managed cruising revival.
Visiting international ships are set to make their first seasonal deployments and world-cruise stopovers in more than two years, joining the home-ported vessels already forging Australia’s cruising recovery.
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Managing Director Australasia Joel Katz said the 2022-23 season would be an excellent first summer for the Australian cruise industry as it continues to renew.
“As we move into spring and summer, we’ll soon see more of the international cruise ships that we’ve been missing over the past two seasons,” Mr Katz said. “Each visit will bring new visitors and new opportunities for local communities, helping to rebuild an industry previously worth more than $5 billion a year to the Australian economy.”
CLIA today hosts more than 500 industry delegates from across Australia and New Zealand at its Cruise360 Australasia conference in Sydney, the first time the region’s cruise community has gathered for more than two years. The event also helps launch CLIA’s Cruise Month campaign, promoting new cruising opportunities in Australasia and around the world throughout the month of September.
More than 20 CLIA cruise lines will operate ships in Australian waters between now and the end of April, 2023:
P&O Cruises’ Pacific Explorer and Pacific Encounter are already operating in Australian waters and will be joined by Pacific Adventure in October. The three ships will offer cruising from Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide and Cairns, with itineraries to Australian, New Zealand and South Pacific destinations.
Princess Cruises’ Coral Princess is currently sailing her first local season from Brisbane and Sydney, while Grand Princess will debut in Australia in October, sailing out of Melbourne and Adelaide. Local flagship Majestic Princess returns to Sydney in October, offering a selection of cruises around Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific, while Island Princess will visit as part of a world cruise.
PONANT luxury expedition ships Le Lapérouse and Le Soléal have been operating in the Kimberley region since May and will continue to sail to destinations in Australia, New Zealand, Asia, Melanesia and the Indonesian Archipelago into 2023. In April, PONANT’s 32-guest, three-masted Le Ponant will make her debut in the Kimberley for a six-month season, before heading to Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.
Silversea has been operating its luxury expedition vessel Silver Explorer in the Kimberley since earlier this year and will bring Silver Muse, Silver Shadow, and Silver Whisper to Australia from December to March. The line offers almost three dozen voyages in Australia and New Zealand, including visits to Tasmania and destinations in the South Pacific and Asia. A World Cruise titled 'South Side Story' will depart from Sydney in early January for a 140-day journey.
Coral Expeditions operates three Australian-flagged expedition ships in Australia - Coral Discoverer, Coral Adventurer and Coral Geographer – which have continued to offer small-group itineraries in the Kimberley, Tasmania and South Australia. Over the coming season the cruise line will operate a one-off circumnavigation of Australia on Coral Adventurer from October to December, as well as new international itineraries to New Zealand, the South Pacific, Raja Ampat and a series to “Small Islands of the Indian Ocean”.
APT’s Australian owned 99-guest MS Caledonian Sky has also been operating in the Kimberley. From October, the ship will offer a series of expedition cruises around the Great Barrier Reef, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia.
Carnival Cruise Line is introducing Carnival Luminosa, which will be based in Brisbane from November with itineraries including the Great Barrier Reef, Airlie Beach and the South Pacific. Carnival Splendor will return to Sydney in late September for cruises in Australia, New Zealand and to the South Pacific.
Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas and Quantum of the Seas will be the biggest ships operating in the region this season. Ovation of the Seas will be sailing from Sydney from the end of October while Royal Caribbean’s launch in Queensland starts with Quantum of the Seas sailing from the new Brisbane International Cruise Terminal from early November onwards.
Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Eclipse will debut in the region from 22 October with a series of three- to 13-night itineraries across Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific. Its 17 sailings are grouped into ‘Sun and Beach Escapes’, ‘Food and Wine Classics’ and ‘Five-Star Getaways’.
Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth will make her first circumnavigation of Australia in November before sailing a range of two- to 21-night itineraries in Australia and New Zealand until the end of March. Sister ships Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria will also visit as part of their world cruises.
Holland America Line’s Noordam and Westerdam will arrive in Australia in November, operating from Sydney and Auckland until April with a series of trans-Tasman itineraries around New Zealand as well as coastal Australian itineraries with visits to Adelaide, Melbourne and Tasmania. The line’s Zuiderdam will visit as part of a world cruise itinerary.
Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Spirit will make her long-awaited debut Down Under in December following her US$100 million renovation, sailing a series of 12-day itineraries between Australia and New Zealand through until March, together with two South Pacific repositioning voyages via French Polynesia.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ Seven Seas Explorer will arrive in Australia in late December for her first Asia-Pacific season, offering itineraries from Asia and along Australia’s east coast as well as in New Zealand and north to Asia.
Windstar Cruises’ all-suite yacht Star Breeze will make its inaugural visit to Australian waters and offer a series of cruises along Australia’s east coast and to New Zealand between December and February, including visits to Melbourne, Tasmania, Sydney and Tropical North Queensland.
Oceania Cruises’ Regatta arrives in Sydney in December for seven itineraries that include a 35-night circumnavigation of Australia as well as cruises to the South Pacific.
Azamara Cruises’ Azamara Quest will sail a variety of cruises in the region, arriving in Fremantle in mid-December then sailing the Great Australian Bight with visits to Albany, Esperance and Kangaroo Island before making her way across the Tasman for a series of New Zealand voyages. Quest will also be in Sydney Harbour for three days over the New Year period and will cruise back through the Bight to Hong Kong as she departs Australia in late February.
Seabourn’s Seabourn Odyssey will sail the coasts of Australia and New Zealand from December to March including a series of coastal and trans-Tasman itineraries, while Seabourn Sojourn will visit Australia’s east and west coasts as part of a world cruise in March.
MSC Cruises will bring two ships to local waters in February as part of world cruises. MSC Poesia will visit Auckland, Sydney Brisbane and Cairns, while MSC Magnifica will visit Auckland, Hobart, Sydney, Cairns and Darwin.
Other visitors to Australian waters this year include Aida Cruises’ AIDAsol, P&O UK’s Arcadia, and TUI Cruises’ Europa and Europa 2.