BRILLIANCE of the Seas arrived for its maiden visit to the Port of Newcastle this past weekend.

Port Authority of NSW chief customer and commercial officer John McKenna said the summer cruise season for Newcastle in 2023-24 would be steady with 16 cruise calls – up slightly from the 14 calls last year.

“Today also marks the commencement of Port Authority’s new 10-year licence agreement with Port of Newcastle that will see more transit cruise ship visits into the Hunter and Central Coast region in the years to come,” Mr McKenna said.

“Newcastle has a long and proud history of welcoming cruise passengers for almost two decades of cruise seasons. This new licence agreement is great news for Newcastle and surrounding regions as more transit cruise visits will provide opportunities for local tourism and hospitality operators, boosting the local economy.”

Mr McKenna said under the new licence agreement Port Authority would facilitate cruise operations at a Port of Newcastle-owned berth.

He said Newcastle has great potential to further build its transit cruise visitation and is well equipped with appropriate infrastructure in place and ready to meet the local growing demand of the cruise industry.

“This new licence agreement builds on the success already achieved in Newcastle and will complement the Sydney and Eden cruise markets by offering cruise lines more opportunities to add Newcastle as a destination on their cruise itineraries,” he said.

PANSW said it would work closely with Port of Newcastle to facilitate growth of the cruise market in Newcastle, that will bring more cruise passengers to Newcastle, the Hunter and Central Coast Regions in the next decade and beyond.