Monday 19th Nov, 2018

Newcastle slides into cruise season

Celebrity Solstice. Photo: Celebrity Cruises
Celebrity Solstice. Photo: Celebrity Cruises

PORT of Newcastle is to officially launch its 2017/18 cruise season this weekend.

On Saturday October 7, some 1950 passengers on board the first cruise ship of the season, the Sun Princess, will get to check out the local attractions.

The Princess Cruises’ vessel is set to arrive at 7am and will dock at Channel Berth around 8am.

Between October 2017 and April next year, some 10 ships and about 21,000 passengers are to visit Newcastle.

This season the Port is to also handle three maiden visits and a new cruise line to the region, Norwegian Cruise Line.

Highlights for the season include:

  • 10 vessels from seven cruise lines will be visiting Newcastle, ranging from luxury to smaller expedition style ships, to some of the biggest vessels in the Australian cruise market
  • Port of Newcastle welcomes the return of Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth on March 1, 2018
  • Norwegian Cruise Line is to make its maiden voyage to Newcastle with the arrival of the Norwegian Jewel on February 21
  • The largest cruise ship to visit the Port of Newcastle, Celebrity Solstice, is to visit twice this season
  • Pacific Eden, Regatta and Norwegian Jewel is to make their maiden visits to Newcastle.

The Australian Cruise Association estimates cruise shipping currently delivers $11m to the region’s economy.

Port of Newcastle chief executive, Geoff Crowe, said the Port was thrilled to be welcoming even more visitors to Newcastle.

“The cruise season brings a really positive atmosphere to our harbour city. I see many people taking the opportunity to explore Newcastle’s city centre on foot, taking in our picturesque harbour and doing some shopping,” Mr Crowe said.

“I recommend local tourism businesses refer to the cruise schedule published on the Port of Newcastle website for a full listing of when the cruise ships are visiting, the times and the passenger capacity of each ship so they can prepare accordingly.”

The 2017/18 cruise season is to be delivered alongside the construction of the $12.7m cruise terminal development, which set to be finished at the end of next year.

“From early 2018 the Channel Berth will be a hive of activity as construction commences. I look forward to shortly revealing the terminal design and announcing the appointment of the lead construction firm,” Mr Crowe said.

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