South Australia says ahoy to biggest ever cruise season
The first cruise ship to Adelaide for 2023-24 arrives at Outer Harbor today, after a successful visit to Kangaroo Island yesterday which signalled the start of another record-breaking cruise season for South Australia.
With 124 visits scheduled across the state in 2023-24, it is set to blow last season’s record-high out of the water when 103 cruise and expedition ship visits in 2022-23 injected $215 million into the state and supported 704 jobs.
Carrying up to 2,600 passengers and 1,100 crew, Princess Cruises’ Grand Princess will arrive at the newly renovated Port Adelaide Cruise Terminal this morning with passengers disembarking for onshore tours and experiences across Adelaide, Barossa, Adelaide Hills, and Fleurieu Peninsula.
Cruise ships scheduled for South Australia through to April 2024 include Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas – one of the biggest cruise ships to visit Australia – carrying up to 4,180 passengers and 1,500 crew, and Celebrity’s Celebrity Edge – scheduled for its first visit to South Australia – carrying up to 2,908 passengers and 1,377 crew.
This season is set to bring a capacity of 234,000 passengers and crew to South Australia, with cruise ship visits to Adelaide, Penneshaw and Port Lincoln, as well as expedition ship visits to more remote coastal locations such as Coffin Bay in the Eyre Peninsula, American River in Kangaroo Island, and Robe in Limestone Coast.
Minister for Tourism, Zoe Bettison said it is exciting to be welcoming back the sector, worth $215 million to South Australia’s visitor economy.
"Today, we’re full speed into the season which will bring tens of thousands of visitors to South Australia to experience our city, our world-class wine regions and produce, and impressive destinations from the hills to the coast," Minister Bettison said.
"Cruise is a hugely important part of our visitor economy, enticing visitors and boosting expenditure across the state.
"With 124 ship visits scheduled across the state this season, cruising in South Australia is only on the way up."
SATC Chief Executive, Emma Terry said a key focus for the SATC is not only growing the value of cruise for the state but ensuring the benefits are spread across the regions, which is why shore excursion programs to regions like the Barossa and visits to destinations like Robe are so important.
"Off the back of strong growth last season when the sector contributed an all-time high $215 million to our state, it is clear South Australia remains a must-visit cruise destination," Ms Terry said.
Phil Hoffmann Travel Managing Director, Phil Hoffmann said cruise demand has well and truly returned.
"We are seeing cruise bookings increasing every year which is very exciting, as more and more people book cruising around Australia and beyond," Mr Hoffmann said.
"Cruising has become a travel style of choice, for the value, inclusions and convenience, and it is incredible for the South Australian economy to see more and more ships coming to SA.
"There’s no doubt cruising in and out of Adelaide has become increasingly popular too, with new ships from magnificent cruise lines like Cunard, Crystal and Silversea now coming into Adelaide.
"With cruise continually on the increase and only proving popular, we are excited about this growth and the future of cruising and homeporting out of Adelaide."