Australia will welcome a record number of cruise ships this summer, with more than 40 vessels sailing in local waters, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) said.
A record 41 ships from CLIA member cruise lines will be based in Australia or visiting local waters between October 1, 2016, and April 30, 2017, compared to 38 ships over the same period last year.
Between them, the ships will make almost 900 calls to ports around Australia over that period – up 10 percent on last year’s port calls numbers.
Brett Jardine, CLIA Australasia Commercial Director, said the record season reflected the continuing surge in Australian cruise passenger numbers as well as the nation’s growing popularity as an international cruise destination.
Among the flotilla will be the largest ship to visit Australia, Royal Caribbean’s 167,000-ton Ovation of the Seas, as well as the youngest and most luxurious ship ever to cruise in the region, the boutique Seabourn Encore, which will arrive in Australia two weeks after it is officially named in Singapore.
Five cruise lines will be making their first ever calls to ports from Darwin in the Northern Territory to Burnie in Tasmania, while across the fleets, individual ships will be making close to 70 maiden calls to coastal towns and cities.
Eight cruise ships including Azamara Journey, Europa 2, Maasdam, Norwegian Star, Sirena, Emerald Princess, Ovation of the Seas and Seabourn Encore will be making their maiden visits, according to CLIA.