11 Nov 2022

A’hoy to the first international visitors arriving by sea

In a sign international tourism is returning to South Australia, the first cruise ship with passengers onboard from across the world arrives in Adelaide today.

The first of seven calls by Cunard to South Australian ports this cruise season, the Queen Elizabeth arrives at Outer Harbor this morning, with nearly 1,700 passengers and around 1,000 crew.

The UK-flagged ship will arrive in Adelaide following a 33-day voyage sailing via Spain, Greece, Suez Canal, Singapore, and Indonesia.

Passengers of the Queen Elizabeth will disembark in Adelaide today for onshore tours and experiences, including the South Australian Museum and National Wine Centre in Adelaide, Cleland Wildlife Park, Hahndorf Village and Mount Lofty Lookout in the Adelaide Hills, Seppeltsfield Winery and Jacobs Creek Visitor Centre in the Barossa, and a three-hour cruise of the Coorong in the Fleurieu Peninsula with Spirit Australia Cruises.

Other Cunard ships to visit the state through until March 2023 include the world’s only ocean liner, the Queen Mary 2, with up to 2,691 passengers and 1,250 crew.

The Queen Elizabeth is scheduled to visit South Australia again, when it arrives at Kangaroo Island on 8 December.

Minister for Tourism, Zoe Bettison welcomed the first Cunard ship to South Australia and the important boost the season of visits from the company will bring to the state.

“It is exciting to be welcoming thousands of passengers from overseas throughout the season, kickstarted today by the visit by the Queen Elizabeth,” Minister Bettison said.

“With hundreds of international tourists today exploring Adelaide and regional South Australia, from the hills to the coast – and only a short wait until hundreds more explore Kangaroo Island early next month – it is tremendous news for tourism businesses who’ll reap the rewards.

“This visit by Cunard is another important milestone in international tourism recovery, and it means we are on track to recovering South Australia $145 million cruise industry.”

Cunard VP, Commercial for North America and Australasia, Matt Gleaves, said he was excited for Cunard to be back in South Australia at the beginning of Queen Elizabeth’s biggest homeport season yet, a record 121-days with 61 calls across Australia and New Zealand.

“The natural rugged beauty, incredible food and wine and abundance of nature and wildlife in South Australia ensure our port calls here are some of the most desired by our passengers,” Mr Gleaves said.

“Our guests will make a total of seven South Australian port calls this wave season equating to 15,700 guest visits. Queen Elizabeth’s port calls will inject $6,8M valuable tourism dollars into South Australia’s state and regional economies.”

“We are particularly excited about our call into Kangaroo Island on 8 December – many of our guests liken the wildlife and scenery of this iconic Australian destination to the Australian equivalent of the Galapagos.”

Mr Gleaves added: “Queen Elizabeth is on her first circumnavigation of Australia that started in Fremantle and will call into Melbourne and Sydney next. Her previous Adelaide call was in December 2019. For Queen Elizabeth’s much anticipated Australian homeport season, Cunard has created a number of exciting itineraries to give guests a selection of the finest experiences not seen locally before. Cunard’s inaugural Great Australian Culinary Journey headlined by Australian food royalty Matt Moran will leave Sydney on 28 January 2023. Then, Australia’s very first Gardening Journey departs Melbourne on 4 February 2023 featuring green thumbed talent including Jamie Durie and Graham Ross.”