Syd­ney sit­u­a­tion “crit­i­cal”

Cruise Weekly - - NEWS -

SE­NIOR ex­ec­u­tives from Nor­we­gian Cruise Line Hold­ings are meet­ing with Syd­ney Ports Author­ity today as part of an on­go­ing cam­paign to re­solve the im­passe of Syd­ney Har­bour’s cruise ca­pac­ity.

NCLH ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent of in­ter­na­tional busi­ness de­vel­op­ment, Harry Som­mer, told CW this morn­ing “We can’t over-em­pha­sise how crit­i­cal the Syd­ney sit­u­a­tion has be­come,” with the lat­est sched­ule for Syd­ney’s 2019-20 sea­son com­pletely full from Oct-mid-Feb.

“It’s crazy...there’s no other port in the world where you can’t get a slot for a whole four month pe­riod,” Som­mer said.

Nor­we­gian’s com­ments mir­ror those of other cruise op­er­a­tors in re­cent months, with Royal Caribbean and Car­ni­val Cor­po­ra­tion both an­nounc­ing changes to de­ploy­ments be­cause of in­suf­fi­cient Syd­ney ca­pac­ity.

Som­mer and NCLH re­gional chief Steve Odell said the is­sue was more than just eco­nom­ics, with jobs also un­der threat if in­dus­try growth was con­strained.

The com­pany is open to a range of op­tions and is ready to make sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ments in in­fra­struc­ture, as it has done in other ports across the globe.

“But the gov­ern­ment is still sit­ting on its hands,” they said, adding “there’s talk and more talk but noth­ing hap­pens”.

While the NSW Govt is fi­nally en­gag­ing di­rectly with the in­dus­try, the pair are also urg­ing fed­eral in­ter­ven­tion, pos­si­bly in re­la­tion to Gar­den Is­land.

While a ‘dou­ble stack­ing’ so­lu­tion has been pro­posed for the Over­seas Pas­sen­ger Ter­mi­nal, op­er­a­tionally this is “very dif­fi­cult,” the NCL chiefs said.

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