Aust los­ing ex­pe­di­tions

Cruise Weekly - - NEWS -

AUS­TRALIA is los­ing out on at­tract­ing for­eign ex­pe­di­tion cruise ves­sels, re­sult­ing in lost tourism op­por­tu­ni­ties be­cause of in­con­sis­ten­cies and re­stric­tions in Gov­ern­ment pol­icy.

Speak­ing at the Aus­tralian Cruise As­so­ci­a­tion con­fer­ence, Po­nant chair­man Sa­rina Brat­ton said be­tween 2018 and 2022 there were 22 new ex­pe­di­tion cruise ship builds lined up, but the ma­jor­ity were yet to com­mit to Aus­tralian de­ploy­ments.

“We have is­sues fac­ing ex­pe­di­tion cruises. There are many com­pa­nies that would love to call Aus­tralia home but they can’t,” said Brat­ton, pic­tured.

Presently the Coastal Trad­ing Act skews heav­ily in favour of do­mes­tic ships and Aus­tralian crews in many ar­eas of op­er­a­tion, rep­re­sent­ing in­creased costs and op­er­a­tional chal­lenges to for­eign flagged ves­sels, par­tic­u­larly un­der 5,000 tonnes.

“In New Zealand you can op­er­ate for 28 days be­fore your ship needs to go in­ter­na­tional,” Brat­ton said.

“We’ve got char­ters lined up from New Zealand but the cur­rent Aus­tralian op­er­at­ing en­vi­ron­ment is way too chal­leng­ing.”

Brat­ton has again called for change in pol­icy, urg­ing stake­hold­ers within the cruise in­dus­try to “lobby Gov­ern­ment to change the rules for in­ter­na­tional ves­sels of any size to be able to op­er­ate with­out re­stric­tions”.

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