Adelaide to host major cruise conference as state gets set for record-breaking season
Ahead of the first cruise ship of the 2023-24 season arriving in South Australia next month, the nation’s peak cruise industry body has confirmed Adelaide will host its 2024 annual conference.
The vote of confidence in the state’s cruise sector by the Australian Cruise Association (ACA) comes as South Australia gets set for a record-breaking number of ship visits from October.
With 124 scheduled cruise and expedition ship visits, it is a new all-time high well surpassing last season’s 103 visits which brought more than 227,900 passengers and crew to the state. It also tops the 82 visits made in 2018-19 when the sector contributed $145 million to the economy.
The 2024 ACA Annual Conference and AGM was secured by the South Australian Tourism Commission and will be held on 4-6 September 2024.
It is expected to attract around 130 industry representatives including executives of leading national and international cruise lines, as well as shore excursion operators, port authorities, provedores, shipping agents, and tour businesses.
The ACA made the announcement at the final session of the 2023 ACA annual conference held last week in Wollongong.
The first cruise ship scheduled for South Australia in 2023-24 is the Princess Cruises’ Grand Princess, arriving at Kangaroo Island on 25 October and Adelaide on 26 October with up to 2600 passengers and 1150 crew.
Minister for Tourism, Zoe Bettison said after a hugely successful restart to cruising in South Australia last year and a bumper season, it is wonderful to get this big show of support in the state.
"With a record-breaking 124 ships set to visit our shores in the upcoming season, it is clear South Australia is a destination of choice for cruise lines – and now too, for the industry’s annual conference," Minister Bettison said.
"Thanks to excellent cruise infrastructure and world-renowned destinations like Kangaroo Island, we are seeing a huge resurgence in cruising in our state and continually growing this valuable sector of our visitor economy."
CEO Australian Cruise Association, Jill Abel said the committee’s decision to take the conference to Adelaide made perfect sense as the state’s appeal continues to grow for the curious cruise traveller.
"With a growing port network including the gateway city of Adelaide, as well as wonderful sites like Penneshaw (Kangaroo Island), Port Lincoln and more remote locations for expedition cruises, South Australia is well positioned to welcome the full range of cruise ships," Ms Abel said.
"The state’s vast offering of shore excursions – wellness and walking tours, wildlife viewing, Indigenous experiences and of course the incredible wealth of food and beverage experiences – makes for a highly immersive cruise itinerary."