25 Oct 2023

All aboard for another record-breaking cruise season for Kangaroo Island

The first cruise ship to South Australia for 2023-24 has arrived at Penneshaw today, signalling the start of another record-breaking cruise season for Kangaroo Island and a multi-million-dollar boost to the regional economy. 

Local businesses and tourism operators across Kangaroo Island are gearing up for more visits than ever before, with 31 cruise visits scheduled for Penneshaw through until April 2024. 

It tops the 29 cruise visits made in 2022-23 when the sector generated a total economic impact of $33.4 million into Kangaroo Island as new data shows. 

The data from Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and Australian Cruise Association (ACA) shows the cruise sector supported 116 jobs in Kangaroo Island in 2022-23, when it brought 53,200 passengers and 24,200 crew to the region. 

Today’s arrival of the Princess Cruises’ Grand Princess brings up to 2,600 passengers and 1,100 crew and will see passengers disembark for onshore tours and experiences including a new Ngarrindjeri Walk tour with Kool Tours and visits to the Honey Farms, Emu Ridge Eucalyptus Distillery, Remarkable Rocks, Seal Bay, Kingscote, and more.

Other cruise ships scheduled for Kangaroo Island this season, which will run through until April 2024, include Holland America’s Noordam carrying up to 1,916 passengers and 800 crew, and Royal Caribbean’s Brilliance of the Seas – its first visit to Kangaroo Island – carrying up to 2,543 passengers and 848 crew. 

South Australian Tourism Commission CEO, Emma Terry said it is wonderful to be welcoming back the sector, which is worth $215 million to South Australia’s visitor economy.

“It is terrific news for tourism in Kangaroo Island today, as we set sail on what is expected to be another record-breaking cruise season for the region,” Ms Terry said.

“Last season brought 29 cruise ship visits to Penneshaw, injecting more than $33 million into the local economy and supporting 116 jobs across the region. 

“With 31 cruise ship visits scheduled for Penneshaw through until April, we can expect to see more passengers experiencing the beauty of Kangaroo Island which is great news for local businesses and tourism operators.” 

Kangaroo Island Tourism Alliance Regional Tourism Manager, Megan Harvie said the local community is excited for the start of the cruise season.

“Cruise is really important to Kangaroo Island and it’s great to see just how successful last season was, providing an impressive $33.4 million boost to the economy,” Ms Harvie said.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming cruise passengers and crew and sharing all that our island has to offer from our fabulous food and wine to our pristine beaches and abundant native wildlife and beyond, it is going to be an exciting year.