Busiest ever cruise ship season to begin on Kangaroo Island

Kangaroo Island is about to experience its busiest cruise ship season ever with the first of 28 visits next week.

The Holland America ship Noordam will anchor off Penneshaw on Thursday, November 29 with 2700 passengers and crew on board.

Tourism KI chairman Pierre Gregor said one change this year is that the South Australian Tourism Commission has contracted out the meet-and-greet service to Adelaide company, Event Managers Australia.

This function was previously undertaken by Tourism KI with the assistance of local volunteers and Flinders University students.

The markets at Penneshaw meanwhile will to be going for each visit.

Penneshaw Markets coordinator Betty McAdam said everyone was “geared up and ready to go” for the first ship, with 15 to 20 stalls expected.

This cruise ship season was also set to be by far the busiest with visitations increasing from 19 in the 2017/18 season to 28 in the 2018/19 season.

The ships visiting this season will be carrying about 60,000 passengers and crew, compared to about 40,000 last season. Typically, 80 to 85 per cent of those on board came ashore.

“This will be by far our busiest season yet and we are very keen to make sure our visitors have the best possible experience,” Mr Gregor said.

“We will be monitoring pressure on the Penneshaw precinct. We do have to be conscious of our carrying capacity and focus on delivering the promise or expectation.” 

Next to visit will be the Pacific Jewel conducting its South Australian tour with visits on December 3, 13 and 17 and again on December 22.

The smaller 800-passenger-and-crew MV Seabourn Sojourn will visit on December 21, while the Azamara Quest will make its maiden KI visit on December 28.

All up there are seven cruise ship visits to KI in the month of December.

Meanwhile next year for the 2019/2020 cruise season there will be another newcomer to KI in the form of the Vasco da Gama, formerly the Pacific Eden, now belonging to the Cruise & Maritime Voyagers company.

The 1200-passenger Vasco de Gama will be the first ship to visit the port of Wallaroo, and will also stop at Penneshaw, Port Lincoln and Adelaide.

The ship is set to visit Penneshaw on December 20, 2019 and January 4, 2020.