INFRASTRUCTURE issues in Western Australian regional ports have been blamed for a decision by Carnival Australia to withdraw P&O Cruises from the state.
Carnival Australia accounts for seven distinctive cruise brands within Carnival Corporation including P&O Cruises Australia.
A Carnival Australia spokesman said the decision on home porting in Fremantle was based on “commercial considerations” combined with uncertainty about being able to “deliver published itinerary calls to some Western Australian regional ports”.
“We have also said that we will continue to working with the state government of Western Australia to resolve these local issues so that we can make a contribution to the long term success of the West Australian cruise market and its economic value particularly at regional destinations,” the spokesman said.
“We have confirmed that while P&O will not base a ship in Fremantle next year, ships from other lines in the Carnival Australia group will make nearly 20 calls to Western Australia next year.”
The issue has become something of a political football, with the newly-elected government using it as an issue with which to beat the Liberal opposition.