Brisbane’s cruise industry has received a boost with three leading luxury liners opting to base at the city’s premier boutique retail and dining precinct, Portside Wharf, rather than Sydney, this winter.
The ships will bring an additional 39,000 passengers to Brisbane through the Brisbane Cruise Ship Terminal during an already stellar season for the industry.
In addition to the new winter schedule, Brisbane is in the midst of its biggest summer cruising season to date, with 24 unique ships notching up a total of 71 visits from October 2013 to April 2014, bringing with them 138,000 passengers and 50,000 crew members from all over the world.
Passenger numbers at the Brisbane Cruise Ship Terminal, owned and operated by Brookfield Residential Properties, have increased from 45,000 to 138,000 since its launch in 2006 – an increase of 207 per cent.
“The Brisbane Cruise Ship Terminal has been one of the catalysts for unprecedented growth in the cruise industry in Australia, with Brisbane now the second largest cruise port in the country,” said Brookfield Residential Properties Regional Director Lee Butterworth.
“While most industries, including tourism, were declining during the GFC, the cruise industry defied the trend by experiencing double digit growth year on year.
“This is something that would not have been possible without the Brisbane Cruise Ship Terminal and the various shipping lines taking advantage of an opportunity to increase market penetration.”
According to Ian Hunter, director of Cruising Down Under at Portside Wharf, Brisbane is not only attracting a large number of ships but also drawing some of the highest rated cruise liners in the world.
“This year’s cruise schedule highlights how popular Brisbane has become with national and international cruise liners and passengers,” Mr Hunter said.
“Not only are we attracting an extremely large number of ships to our shores but the calibre of cruise liners docking in Brisbane this year is extremely high.”
Mr Hunter said the summer cruising season and the new liners docking during winter was testament to a blossoming tourism industry and the evolution of Brisbane as a highly sought-after cruise destination.
“It is fantastic for our city and will inject millions of dollars into our local economy,” he said.
“We are seeing new ships add Brisbane to their schedule as well as previous ones returning, which means Brisbane is continuing to establish itself as a must-see destination and a permanent fixture on many cruising itineraries.
“We are increasingly hearing favourable comments about the Brisbane Cruise Ship Terminal, in particular from officers and crew members who report that Portside Wharf is one of the most popular cruise facilities in the world and a ‘breath of fresh air’ from the many industrial port complexes they typically dock at.
“With such a variety of boutique shops, fine dining restaurants, cafes and facilities in the Portside Wharf precinct, it makes those quick stopovers a relaxing and enjoyable experience for both passengers and crew, and for those who don’t make it into the CBD, it’s a beautiful representation of our city.
“For passengers with a longer stay, the CBD and South Bank is just a short, six kilometre bus or taxi ride to where you’ll find all best attractions, or visitors can take in the sights on a City Cat ride from Bretts Wharf.”