TOWNSVILLE is to host luxury cruise ship Albatros on Saturday amid a last-minute itinerary change due to the rough weather battering south east Queensland.

The 205-metre vessel with 500 passengers and 300 crew was scheduled to berth at Gladstone.

After Albatros leaves Townsville, it will move on to Cairns and then Papua New Guinea. The ship’s current cruise is 146 days, one-way from Hamburg to Genoa, themed as “Easter Art”. The itinerary started on 19 December 2018 and will end on 14 May 2019.


Port of Townsville business development general manager David Sibley said cruise lines often implement contingency plans during cyclone season.

“Ports all over the world experience some weather issues at some point which prevent ships from berthing; Australian Ports are no different,” he said.

“Townsville Port is fully operational, and we are keen to show to the rest of Australia that Townsville is a fantastic destination. We will also provide a range of services for the vessel including bunkering, rubbish removal, window washing, painting and the like.”

Townsville enterprise director – tourism and events Bridget Woods said the cruise ship arrival was a great opportunity to promote the message to visitors that the region is open for business following the region’s recent flooding.

“This unscheduled cruise ship visit is just the boost that Townsville North Queensland tourism operators need after the industry took a hit during the unprecedented flooding event our city experienced,” Ms Woods said.

“This is a great first step for our local tourism industry’s economic recovery and we know operators will welcome passengers and crew with the same friendly welcome that has earnt our region and Port a glowing reputation in the cruise ship sector.”