The first ship of the 2018/2019 cruise ship season is set to arrive on Kangaroo Island on Thursday, November 29.
Tourism KI chairman Pierre Gregor said the first cruise ship to arrive in Penneshaw would be the Noordam, which is part of the Holland America Line and has visited KI before.
There is significant growth in cruise ship numbers on Kangaroo Island with numbers set to increase from 19 last season to 28 this season.
“The number of ships to visit KI this season has changed a little but is now in the order of 28 with an overall passenger and crew capacity of approximately 60,000 people.” Mr Gregor said.
“Although these visits coincide with our peak season they provide opportunity for the passengers to get a snapshot of what the island has to offer and hopefully the desire to return as land based visitors with a longer stay.
“We have been monitoring this and know that already numerous visitors who came on previous. Ultimately although cruise ship visits are not without their challenges most sectors on the island are both short and long term beneficiaries.”
Mr Gregor said December and February would be particularly busy with seven and 10 ships respectively visiting. Four of the vessels will be making maiden calls to the Island.
The cruise ship season for KI currently ends in March 2019.
SA ship numbers up
Last year’s SA cruise ship season has left a record-breaking economic benefit of $118 million in its wake, according to the SA Government.
The cruise ship sector is positioned for further growth, with 84 visits scheduled for the current 2018/2019 season – up 19 ships – while the 2019/2020 season will see the Yorke Peninsula welcoming its first cruise ship ever.
Cruise and Maritime Voyages’ (CMV) newest ship, Vasco da Gama,will visit Wallaroo, in addition to Port Lincoln and Kangaroo Island – as well as homeporting out of Adelaide in the 2019/20 season.
Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, David Ridgway, said the cruise ship industry is sailing from strength to strength.
“In the coming seasons, our cruise facilities will be busier than they’ve ever been, with flow-on effects for local businesses, restaurants, retailers and tourism operators” the Minister said.
“Vasco da Gama’s arrival, in combination with this year’s extended cruise season, will help propel the state’s visitor economy forward.
“We’re already feeling the benefit of a growing industry with Cruise and Maritime Voyages having moved their Sydney based office to Adelaide, creating 12 new jobs for South Australians.
“We will continue to investigate additional new port options across South Australia for future cruise ship visits - Wallaroo was the next logical step for ongoing growth.
“Our coastal areas are easily accessible and offer iconic tourism experiences - it would be fantastic to attract more ships and see them visiting other regional locations.” Minister Ridgway said.
South Australian Tourism Commission Chief Executive, Rodney Harrex, said the state’s cruise industry is booming with the current season scheduled to receive 84 visits – up 19 ships on last year’s record breaking $118 million season.
“With the addition of Wallaroo as a new cruise destination, it is expected that the wider Yorke Peninsula region will benefit, extending as far as Clare Valley and the Mid-North” he said.
“Our state is attracting more attention than ever before, which is a testament to our people at the coal face of tourism and the quality experiences they are delivering” Mr Harrex said.
Cruise & Maritime Voyages Australia, Managing Director, Dean Brazier, said, CMV aims to be a leader in Australian cruising so we’re thrilled to be the first cruise line to visit Wallaroo as part of our 2019/20 season.
“With our newest ship Vasco da Gama joining the fleet next year, each visit to Wallaroo will bring around 1,200 guests to the region,” said Mr Brazier.
“This move demonstrates our continued commitment to showcasing South Australia and delivering a variety of new destinations and on-shore experiences for our guests.
“We believe Wallaroo is an ideal gateway to the Copper Coast and Yorke Peninsula, and will attract travellers who want to further explore the state’s attractions, from around South Australia as well as interstate and internationally” said Mr Brazier.
CMV will release its full 2019/20 voyage collection aboard Vasco da Gama in November.
The South Australian Tourism Commission is working with regional partners, the Copper Coast Council, Yorke Peninsula Tourism and local tourism operators to ensure the local industry is primed and ready to take full advantage of cruise ships visiting the region.