TOWNSVILLE has called tenders for works to transform the port’s dedicated cruise terminal as it prepares to welcome larger passenger vessels for the 2024/25 cruise season.

Local businesses are encouraged to tender for the suite of works at Port of Townsville’s Quayside Terminal which will take place over the winter months.

To cater for an influx of passengers, the terminal’s bus and taxi rank will be expanded to accommodate 12 buses and a dedicated kiss ‘n ride drop-off zone will be established.  Landscaping, seating and shade structures will be installed in the Breezeway to provide guests with a tropical welcome to Townsville, the port company says.

CEO Ranee Crosby said the work to transform Quayside Terminal was essential to ensure cruise guests had a flawless experience when getting out to explore the region.

“We have just said bon voyage to our final cruise ship for this season with Nautica visiting our city last week,” Ms Crosby said. “We already have record bookings for the 2024/25 season with 25 vessels scheduled.

“We are excited to welcome Large Class cruise ships for the first time, with each carrying up to 3000 passengers, which is triple the number of guests we’ve greeted on any one ship. The terminal upgrades will ensure our visitors have a seamless experience from ship to shore.”

The tender is open until 30 April, 2024, with works to take place between June and October. The construction work includes general earthworks, stormwater drainage, roadworks, shade structure, landscaping improvements and ancillary works.

Large cruise ship visits will be made possible by the imminent completion of the $251m Channel Upgrade project, which sees the Platypus channel (Port end) widened to 180m, tapering to 120m offshore, to accommodate vessels up to 300m in length.

Larger cruise ships booked for 2025 include Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth, P&O Cruises Australia’s Pacific Encounter and Pacific Explorer, Princess Cruises’ Crown Princess and NCL’s Norwegian Sun.