An­other Record Cruise Sea­son

Travel Bulletin - - CRUISE REPORT -

Any­one want­ing ev­i­dence of the con­tin­u­ing rapid growth of the cruise in­dus­try in Aus­tralia just needs to look at the hori­zon this sum­mer – there is go­ing to be a con­stant pro­ces­sion of ships vis­it­ing our ports in coastal towns and cities. There will be a record 41 ves­sels from CLIA mem­ber cruise lines based in Aus­trala­sia or vis­it­ing lo­cal wa­ters be­tween Oc­to­ber 1, 2016, and April 30, 2017, com­pared to 38 ships over the same pe­riod last year. Be­tween them, these ships will make more than 900 calls to ports around Aus­tralia over this pe­riod (up 25% on last year’s port call num­bers) and with more than half the ships (23) of­fer­ing re­turn cruises from our shores, agents and their clients will be able to take ad­van­tage of al­most 400 round trip itin­er­ar­ies from lo­cal ports, a 20% rise on last sum­mer’s of­fer­ings. Some high­lights of the peak sum­mer cruise pe­riod worth keep­ing an eye on in­clude: ■The in­au­gu­ral visit of the largest ship to ever call here, Royal Caribbean’s Ova­tion of the Seas; ■The largest Princess ship ( Emer­ald Princess) to sail from Aus­tralia over an ex­tended sea­son; ■The ul­tra-lux­ury Se­abourn En­core ar­riv­ing in Jan­uary and mak­ing nine maiden port calls; ■The first Aus­tralian visit of the lux­ury Aza­mara Jour­ney; ■The de­but of the 92,000-tonne Nor­we­gian Star; ■The maiden Aus­tralian visit of Ha­pagLloyd Cruises Europa 2, a peren­nial top achiever in the Ber­litz cruis­ing guide; ■The in­au­gu­ral visit of Ocea­nia Cruises’ Sirena which will ar­rive in Syd­ney on March 6; and ■An­other Royal Rendezvous of two Cu­nard ves­sels – the re­mas­tered flag­ship Queen Mary 2 and her younger sis­ter Queen El­iz­a­beth in Syd­ney on Fe­bru­ary 25. CLIA’S Septem­ber 2016 Cruise360 con­fer­ence was a re­sound­ing suc­cess with close to 480 par­tic­i­pants in at­ten­dance as the cruise in­dus­try fo­cused on “Nav­i­gat­ing the Fu­ture”. MC & mod­er­a­tor for the day, Ross Green­wood de­liv­ered an en­ergy to the day that was ev­i­dent from his open­ing com­ments! Ross is well known for his en­thu­si­asm and very as­tute busi­ness acu­men and it has to be said that for some­one that is not in­volved in the cruise in­dus­try on a daily ba­sis, his level of knowl­edge, un­der­stand­ing and in­sight into the cruise scene was re­mark­able. Our theme of “Nav­i­gat­ing the Fu­ture” was ad­dressed in all pan­els and in­cluded dis­cus­sion on tech­nol­ogy and ship de­sign through to the rel­e­vance of re­tail agents as we con­tinue to evolve. For me, one of the high­lights of the day came from our key­note speaker, Michael Mcqueen. He is an award-win­ning speaker, so­cial re­searcher and best-sell­ing au­thor. He has his fin­ger on the pulse when it comes to emerg­ing trends shap­ing busi­ness and cul­ture and he cer­tainly left our C360 au­di­ence with some great ideas. One of Michael’s clos­ing quotes which is so ap­pro­pri­ate for re­tail­ers to­day… “Go big, Go Bou­tique or Go Broke!”

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