Regional Ports Prepare for Cruise Future
The regional ports of Geelong, Cairns, Newcastle and Hobart are among the cities stepping up ship access, facilities and activities for cruise passengers, in a bid to keep up with the growth of cruising in Australia.
In an effort to entice world-class ships, Geelong in Victoria, has committed to a redevelopment of Yarra Street Pier to make the arrival and docking process safer and easier. At present, visiting ships use a swing mooring and have to tender passengers ashore. The proposal provides adequate berthing for large ships and involves dredging an approach channel to enable access to the new pier.
The Royal Geelong Yacht Club has also pledged to support this project financially, while the city's council is lobbying the State and Federal Government to fund the balance. The City of Greater Geelong anticipates the number of cruise ships visiting the region to grow to 25 annually by 2025.
Adding to this, Tourism Victoria has also put together new itineraries in the Yarra Valley aimed at families and in Mornington Peninsula and Daylesford for high-end passengers.
Cairns has also commenced a shipping channel expansion project, which will see shipping access to the port expand to cater for mega cruise ships to Voyager Class by 2016. The project will widen the existing 90m channel to 140m, while also improving the wharf structure.
In New South Wales, Newcastle Port Corporation have recently completed a dredging program that has increased the depth of the cruise berth to 9.7m, which will allow the berth to be more accessible to the larger cruise ships now deployed to the Australian region.
A new 'meet and greet' initiative this cruise season has also seen the introduction of an Art Bazaar held at Newcastle Museum, specifically for cruise ship visits.
Darwin has doubled its capacity to receive cruise ships, with a massive infrastructure upgrade to the Stokes Hill Wharf, which is now able to accommodate ships up to 30,000GT and 200m long. Stokes Hill Wharf housed the original Darwin Cruise Ship Terminal until Fort Hill Wharf was opened in 2008.
Passengers arriving at Stokes Hill Wharf can use a coach rank, shuttle bus pick-up and drop-off, as well as the local restaurants and cafes.
For more information on cruises from Australia, call your Cruise Specialist today on 1300 954 661.
Source: Cruise Weekly, Tuesday 12 March 2013