A record number of cruise ships are set to sail into South Australia this month, signalling a bumper season for local tourism operators and other businesses worth more than $118 million for the state’s economy.
Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, David Ridgway, said 36 cruise ships – including Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth ocean liner and Silversea Cruises’ newest flagship Silver Muse - with a total capacity of 67,800 passengers and crew would dock in SA ports in February.
“Never before have we seen so many cruise ships come to South Australia in one month, and we are delighted to welcome their interstate and international passengers and showcase all our state has to offer,’’ said Minister Ridgway.
“This boom is the culmination of a dedicated government push to grow our cruise ship tourism market, which will have significant flow-on economic benefits for local tourism operators, as well as cafes, restaurants and retailers.”
“All up this season (October 2018 to March 2019) we will see 84 cruise ships dock in ports across South Australia - a 23 per cent increase on last year, which will generate more than $118 million for the state’s economy.”
The month begins with the arrival of P&O’s, Pacific Eden at Kangaroo Island – one of 12 cruise ships to dock there – and includes another 19 ships at the Port Adelaide Passenger Terminal, Outer Harbor, while Port Lincoln will welcome 5.
“Port Lincoln will actually enjoy its first ever double header with two ships, the Astor and the Pacific Jewel, in port on one day (February 20) in what will be a very busy time for the region,’’ Minister Ridgway said.
Other highlights include the maiden visit of Silversea Cruises’ newest flagship Silver Muse, a 6-star luxury cruise ship to Kangaroo Island, both the Queen Elizabeth and Astor arriving in Adelaide on the same day (February 8), and eight ex-Adelaide return itineraries.
South Australian Tourism Commission Chief Executive, Rodney Harrex, said the cruise boom would further support a record year for SA tourism.
“Our visitor economy has grown to an impressive $6.9 billion and this mega month will see local businesses right along our coastline getting another slice of the tourism pie,” Mr Harrex said.
“The benefits flow on further into our regions with many visitors dispersing out into the Adelaide Hills, Barossa and further afield. Demand for South Australia is high and we’re seeing a number of ships starting to offer short cruises from Adelaide to our regional ports – providing guests the ultimate sample of our destination."
March is also busy, with 12 cruise ships scheduled – including Port Lincoln’s first overnight stop, with the Astor staying over from March 2 to 3, and a maiden visit by the Viking Sun concluding a record season of 84 cruise ships visiting the State.