Published on : Monday, February 4, 2013
Minister for Roads and Ports, Duncan Gay said the number of cruise ship visits this month will surpass the previous record of 33 set during the 29 days of February 2012.
“The fact that this record has been broken in successive years is further proof of Sydney’s importance as Australia’s major cruise hub and its position as the nation’s leading cruise destination,” Mr Gay said.
“265 ship visits are scheduled for Sydney this cruise season, that’s up by a third on the previous year’s 199 and almost triple the figure set just five years ago.”
That figure will grow to more than 300 next year and reach about 450 by 2030, bringing almost a million people to our city.
Tourism and Major Events Minister George Souris said the economic benefit of the cruise shipping industry is enormous and is growing exponentially.
“Direct expenditure associated with the cruise shipping industry in Australia in 2010-11 was estimated at almost $800 million with more than half of this amount…$425 million… coming to Sydney and Newcastle,” he said.
“NSW was the state with the largest economic impact resulting from the cruise shipping industry in 2010-11; more than double all other states.
“And of course, when cruise liners sail into there’s a spin-off for nearby regional areas such as the Blue Mountains.”
Mr Gay said the number of cruise ships berthing in Sydney during February will see the harbour’s cruise facilities working at their peak.
“The Overseas Passenger Terminal (OPT) and Barangaroo 5 will be in almost constant use during the month and will be supported by the Navy’s facility at Garden Island and the No2 wharf at Glebe Island, both of which will host two ship visits,” Mr Gay said.
“It’s certainly no surprise that 2012 saw Sydney voted ‘Best Cruise Port’ in the world for the eighth consecutive year by readers of the prestigious Cruise Passenger magazine.”
Cruise highlights during February 2013 include:
— maiden visits to Sydney by
-the Columbus II ( Feb 5)
-Artania (Feb 12)
-Seabourn Quest (Feb 16)
— return visits by two of the largest cruise ships to berth in Sydney
-the 310 metre long Voyager of the Seas (Feb 14 & 27) and
-the 294 metre long Queen Victoria (Feb 23)
— the continuing presence at the OPT of the Carnival Spirit, the largest ship ever to home-port in Australia year round.
The Minister said that record cruise ship visits and passenger numbers are bringing with them a range of challenges that the Government and Sydney Ports are successfully meeting.
“Sydney is the only city in Australia with two dedicated cruise passenger terminals but it doesn’t end there,” Mr Gay said.
“To further support the strong growth in cruise ship visits we are working closely with the industry to develop and build infrastructure worth $87 million.”
“The new $57 million cruise passenger terminal at White Bay 5 is due to open in April 2013; planning is under way for a $30 million redevelopment of the OPT including upgrading mooring facilities at the terminal so it can safely accommodate some of the world’s largest cruise ships.”
“It goes without saying that the cruising boom is providing a substantial contribution to the state’s economy making the ships, their passengers and crews most welcome guests in Sydney,” Mr Gay said.
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