South Australia’s record cruise ship season kicks off today with the arrival of the Dawn Princess at Port Adelaide Passenger Terminal this morning.
This season, 29 cruise ships will visit South Australian ports, bringing 67,000 passengers and crew and contributing an estimated $14.5 million in direct expenditure to the state’s economy.
This is a significant increase from the 2007/08 cruise season when the state received eight cruise ship visits.
Tourism Minister, Leon Bignell, said the State Government has been working closely with domestic and international cruise lines to attract more ships to the state and help develop shore-based tours for passengers.
“Developing a strong cruise ship industry is important for tourism in our state,” Mr Bignell said.
“Each time we welcome a vessel to Port Adelaide, hundreds of tourists head to McLaren Vale and Barossa wineries, to Adelaide, Glenelg and the Adelaide Hills.
Mr Bignell said the number of visits to regional ports was also growing, spreading tourism and economic benefits across the state.
“This season ships will also visit Kangaroo Island, Port Lincoln and, for the first time, Robe, which is great news for regional tourism,” he said.
“Each time a cruise ship docks at Penneshaw, $200,000 is injected directly into the Kangaroo Island economy.
“This week travel bible Lonely Planet named Adelaide in the top 10 cities in the world to visit in 2014 which is sure to generate thousands of extra visitors to South Australia.”
The number of cruise ships visiting South Australia is expected to grow even further, with 36 visits already scheduled for the 2014/15 season, bringing more than 97,000 passengers and crew.
“This means our goal to attract 30 ships and $11 million in passenger expenditure by 2014 has already been exceeded and we are well on our way to our 2020 goal of attracting 43 ships and $17 million in expenditure,” Mr Bignell said.
The state will welcome the three largest ships operating in Australian waters this summer: the Voyager of the Seas, the Celebrity Solstice and the Queen Mary 2, which is returning to South Australia for its fifth consecutive year.
The State Government recently provided $170,000 for a new gangway at the Port Adelaide Passenger Terminal which will be completed by January when some of the larger vessels are due to arrive. The passenger terminal has also been given a facelift with South Australia’s new logo featuring prominently.