(10.00 a.m. AEST) – The growth of the local cruise industry has seen the announcement of improvements to cruise ports throughout Australia and New Zealand, but not all of these projects are going ahead.
In 2016 the NSW Government announced a new multi-purpose cruise terminal would be built in Newcastle at the Channel Berth within the Port's Carrington Precinct. The facility was expected to be a similar size to Sydney's White Bay Terminal, at 3,000 square metres.
However, yesterday the Port of Newcastle issued a media statement advising that the $12.7 million funding for the Newcastle cruise terminal project is no longer available. The previous $800,000 upgrade to mooring bollards to enable larger ships to berth in Newcastle will have to suffice for now.
It is business as usual in Hobart, Darwin, Melbourne and Adelaide, but at the start of this year Fremantle Passenger Terminal in Perth underwent a $3.25 million refurbishment. These improvements, plus safety and access upgrades at Broome and Geraldton Ports, will see Carnival Cruise's Sun Princess ship homeporting in Perth during the upcoming 2019/2020 cruise season.
In Auckland, the construction of two temporary mooring points known as dolphins has been approved, a decision which has been welcomed by the cruise industry. This project will enable megaships such as Ovation of the Seas to dock at Queen’s Wharf, and open the port to ships larger than 300 metres long.
Construction has already commenced on the new Lyttelton cruise berth which will be New Zealand’s first custom-built cruise ship facility designed to accommodate the world’s largest cruise vessels. This will replace the pier that was destroyed in the Christchurch earthquake in 2011. The new berth is scheduled for completion in late 2020, in time for the 2020/2021 cruise season.
Meanwhile, in Brisbane, construction has commenced on the Brisbane International Cruise Terminal which is also scheduled to be completed in time for the start of the 2020/21 cruise season. The purpose built $158 million terminal will see new cruise lines and ships, such as Dream Cruises’ Explorer Dream and Carnival Cruises' Carnival Spirit, departing from Brisbane. Other lines such as Royal Caribbean will return to the port.