AN EXTENDED cruise season to Western Australia’s Great Southern has delivered a boost to the region’s tourism industry with more than 15,000 people visiting Port of Albany over the 2023-24 cruise season.

A longer-than-usual season culminated with a winter visit from the Pacific Explorer on Thursday 13 June. The cruise season usually ends in March or April but was extended to allow the vessel to call a second time.  

Pacific Explorer was one of 11 cruise ships to visit Albany this season. The season is expected to generate a statewide income of $273 million.

Southern Ports chief executive officer Keith Wilks said the growth of Albany as one of WA’s 11 cruise destinations was evident by the 2023-24 season extending to June.

“I may be a little biased, but I think the southern coast of Western Australia has some of the most beautiful regions to visit,” said Mr Wilks. “This is evident by the number of cruise ships who choose to dock at our Port of Albany.”

“What’s not to love about Albany with its incredible history, beautiful environment and impressive attractions?

“Cruises may only stop for a day in Albany, but they give tourists a taste for the region that leaves them wanting to come back time and time again.”

In addition to the 11 cruise ship visits to Albany, Southern Ports’ Port of Esperance also welcomed more than 600 passengers travelling on the Azamara Journey in the middle of February.

Mr Wilks said early indications suggest the 2024-25 cruise season will again be popular with the schedule due to be finalised in the coming months.