Cruise passengers will be spoilt for choice this summer season with a record number of ships heading to Australian waters.
Carnival Australia will position 14 ships down under, while five more will visit as part of their world voyages making an historic total of 310 Australian port calls.
This includes the first-ever year-round deployment of a Carnival Cruise Line ship outside of North America when Carnival Spirit arrives on 17 October.
Carnival Australia CEO Ann Sherry said that their company alone expects to carry a record 325,000 passengers during summer, a five percent increase on last season.
“In all, this cruise season we’ll carry more than triple the number of passengers who cruised with us eight years ago when Carnival Australia was first formed and had just seven ships sailing local waters,” Ms Sherry said.
“Collectively those visits will contribute more than AUD$235 million to the Australian economy.”
Royal Caribbean International will welcome the two largest and most modern cruise ships to ever be based in Australia when Royal Caribbean’s Voyager of the Seas and Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Solstice arrive in November.
Voyager of the Seas will feature Australia’s first ice-rink at sea while Celebrity Solstice promises to bring “modern luxury” to the region with Australia’s first real lawn at sea.
They will join Radiance of the Seas, Rhapsody of the Seas and Celebrity Millennium in the region, with Royal Caribbean International anticipating a record 200,000 passengers aboard their five ships, a 165,000-passenger increase from the number of cruisers two seasons ago.
“We are gearing up for a very exciting and historic season: this is the beginning of a brand new era in Australian cruising,” Royal Caribbean Australia & New Zealand Commercial Director, Adam Armstrong said.
“Voyager of the Seas and Celebrity Solstice will revolutionise the cruising landscape as we introduce a size and calibre of superliners previously only experienced overseas.”
Holland America Line’s ms Oosterdam and ultra-luxe Seabourn Quest will also sail to the region for the first time this season while Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 will set sail on her first circumnavigation of New Zealand in March 2013.