CruiseCLIA says Australia’s cruise season in back ‘bigger and better than ever”.

Ships ahoy! From Disney to Virgin, cruise lines set course Down Under

More than 1,800 port calls are scheduled for destinations around Australia.
More than 1,800 port calls are scheduled for destinations around Australia. Photo Credit: Adobe Stock/jovannig

Australia is gearing up for a huge summer cruise season, bringing new ships, new cruise lines and more than 1,800 port calls in destinations around the country.

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) managing director Australasia Joel Katz said the number of ships visiting the region during the 2023-2024 season will exceed pre-pandemic levels.

“Australia will welcome around 70 cruise ships over the 2023-34 season, which is well above the 60 or so scheduled to visit in 2019-20,” Katz said.

“Together these ships will spend a total of 1848 port days in Australia – 18% more than in 2019-20 – resulting in billions of dollars in passenger spending in communities around the Australian coast.”

Among newcomers this year to the Australian cruise scene will be Virgin Voyages, Disney Cruise Line and Scenic.

“Australia has become one of the most vibrant cruise regions in the world, and this means more options than ever for cruise fans,” Katz said.

CLIA chair in Australasia Ben Angell said the approaching summer schedule reflected strong demand for cruising in Australian waters.

“The sheer number of ships and increasingly diverse range of itineraries on offer across our region highlight the strength, resilience and underlying demand of our local cruise industry, both as a source market and a destination,” Angell said. “Cruise is back, and back bigger and better than ever.”

Highlights of the 2023-2024 season in Australia include:

Crystal will return to Australia and New Zealand in December under the new guardianship of the A&K Travel Group following a multi-million-dollar refurbishment.

All three Cunard ships, Queen Elizabeth, flagship Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria will call into Australian ports. Themed cruises include the ‘Great Australian Culinary Voyage’ and the inaugural ‘Sporting Greats and Wellness Voyage’.

Disney Cruise Line is bringing the magic of a Disney holiday to families and fans in Australia and New Zealand during its “Disney Magic at Sea” cruises from late October 2023 through February 2024.

Heritage Expeditions’ 140-guest flagship Heritage Adventurer will sail from New Zealand to the Subantarctic Islands of Australia and New Zealand, to Antarctica and the Ross Sea, along Australia's iconic Kimberley coast, and around New Zealand's three main islands.

Scenic will operate the ultra-luxury Scenic Eclipse II in Australia and the South Pacific region for the first time from April 2024. Scenic Eclipse II is the first cruise operator to offer submersible underwater exploration in the Great Barrier Reef and the most expansive discovery programme in the Kimberley region, with its two on board helicopters, providing guests with flightseeing experiences to unique landings, directly from the ship.

Silversea will bring Silver Muse, Silver Shadow and Silver Whisper to Australia from December to March. Silversea's cutting-edge ship Silver Nova will arrive in Australian waters at the end of 2024, with revolutionary sustainability credentials and culinary and wellness experiences.

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