PORT Authority of NSW welcomed the maiden arrival of Brilliance of the Seas with more than 2500 passengers sailing into Snug Cove, Eden.

The arrival marks the start of what PANSW said is the biggest-ever summer cruise season for Eden.

PANSW chief customer and commercial officer John McKenna said the summer cruise season for Eden 2023-24 would be sensational with 41 cruise visits, of which nine cruise ships are maiden visits to our port.

“The growth of the Eden cruise market has been steadily increasing year on year since the first cruise ship arrived into Eden in 2005. The diversity of cruise lines we see today is exceptional with Eden fast becoming a popular destination for cruise itineraries,” Mr McKenna said.

“It is also great to see a record number of maiden calls with international cruise lines such as Disney, Viking and Oceania Cruises visiting Eden for the first time this summer bringing thousands of passengers to see, taste and do the very best the Bega Valley and Sapphire Coast has to offer.”

Mr McKenna said in the past summer season for 2022-23 more than 50,000 passengers sailed into Eden.

“It is likely we will surpass this number of passengers given the increased cruise ships expected to visit,” he said.

The port authority was onboard Brilliance of the Seas this week as part of an age-old maritime tradition to deliver a special plaques to celebrate maiden voyages.

“The growth of cruise ship visits into regional areas of NSW is very exciting as more international cruise lines are adding Eden to their itineraries, further cementing NSW as the cruise capital of Australia,” Mr McKenna said.

“The season ahead will be the biggest on record and will potentially inject $18 million into the local Sapphire Coast economy.”