The sustained growth of the cruise ship industry in South Australia is providing a welcome boost for tourism operators and retailers, Tourism Minister Leon Bignell says.
In a first, ships will this year dock at four separate South Australian ports – Port Adelaide, Robe, Kangaroo Island and Port Lincoln.
“This comes on the back of some very hard work and strategic investment by the State Government and the South Australian Tourism Commission,” Mr Bignell said.
“This cruise season, a record 29 cruise ships visits carrying 67,000 passengers and crew will come to South Australian ports, increasing to 37 ship visits carrying more than 100,000 passengers and crew in 2014/15.
“This is a remarkable increase over a relatively short period and it is bringing significant benefits to the South Australian economy.”
The State Government recently provided $170,000 for the construction of the new gangway at the Port Adelaide passenger terminal to maximise the benefits of the boom.
“This will give large ships more capacity to use Port Adelaide as their ‘home port’, allowing them to run cruises to and from Adelaide, and disembark more passengers more quickly,” he said.
“It means the P&O Pacific Pearl and Pacific Jewel will be able to use Adelaide as a home port from 2014, offering visits to the regional ports of Robe, Port Lincoln and Kangaroo Island.”
Also for the first time, two ships, the Volendam and Seabourn Sojourn, will stay in Adelaide overnight, allowing passengers two full days for touring.
Meanwhile P&O are offering a seven night Southern Getaway itinerary out of Melbourne and visiting all four South Australian ports.
The largest cruise ship visiting Australia this season, the Voyager of the Seas, returns to Adelaide for the second year, visiting twice this season with 5000 passengers and crew aboard. The Queen Mary 2 will also return for the fifth consecutive year.
The SATC actively works with cruise lines to develop new itineraries and with local operators to maximise the regional tourism benefits.
This year, the SATC will roll out its Meet and Greet Program to regional South Australia which offers passengers professional, standardised service delivery in all ports of call. South Australia is the only state to offer this level of service to passengers and cruise lines.