THE cruise season will see 13 ships visit Townsville over the seven-month period, ending in April 2020, including maiden calls from Maasdam (Holland America), Boudicca (Fred Olsen Cruise Line) and Artania (Phoenix-Reisen).

Around 16,000 visitors will arrive during the period that will be one of the highest cruise seasons on record. This is bolstered by two of the largest passenger-carrying ships to arrive in Townsville, the Artania and Amsterdam – each carrying a total of 2,100 passengers and crew.

Port of Townsville CEO Ranee Crosby said, “The recent announcement of the Australian Cruise Association naming Townsville as the host of the national conference to be held in September 2020 mirrors the cruise industries interest in Townsville.

“The announcement follows the success of the trial partial turnaround for cruise ships in September 2018 which was indicative of the communities resounding support for the growth of cruise ship attraction in Townsville,” Ms Crosby said.

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The global cruise interest was bolstered in 2018, with the federal and state governments environmental and funding approval of the $193m Channel Upgrade Project.

The widening of the channel will be completed in 2023, allowing ships up to 300 metres to access the port ensuring North Queensland remains a competitive trade and tourism gateway.

Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill said she welcomed the announcement by the Port of Townsville regarding the cruise season with strong numbers.

“Having these passengers from cruise ships arrive in the heart of Townsville is a real boon for our city,” Cr Hill said.

“Local retailers, restaurants and tourist attractions feel the positive impact of having hundreds of visitors in Townsville at once.

“We’re looking forward to showing off the best of Townsville to leave a lasting impression on these travellers.”

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