After two years, Cruise ships are returning to Cairns

In Australian Domestic Tourism, Featured Home Page News, Queensland, Tourism Routes
Cruise ship

Cruising returns to Cairns with ships due to return in the back half of 2022.

P & O is currently the only cruise brand with planned departures from Cairns.

Tourism Tropical North Queensland chairman Ken Chapman said the return of the cruise industry was eagerly awaited with many businesses relying on the ships to boost trade during summer.

“In 2018-19, Cairns welcomed 193 cruise visit days, with 97,174 passengers and nearly 16,000 crew contributing more than $50m direct expenditure into the region, while the total economic benefit reached nearly $102m,” he said

The Tourism News Related Stories

QLD $4 million budget boost for Indigenous tourism

FNQ winner of polar blast

from cairns post

CRUISING is back in style with ships due to make more than 120 visits to FNQ ports from Cairns to Thursday Island in the back half of 2022.

The 261m P & O vessel Pacific Explorer leads the Armada, arriving in Cairns at 9am on Saturday.

Tourism Tropical North Queensland chairman Ken Chapman said the return of the cruise industry was eagerly awaited with many businesses relying on the ships to boost trade during summer.

“In 2018-19, Cairns welcomed 193 cruise visit days, with 97,174 passengers and nearly 16,000 crew contributing more than $50m direct expenditure into the region, while the total economic benefit reached nearly $102m,” he said.

But if Cairns residents want to get on a cruise themselves they’ll need to wait until 2023, if they desire a cruise departing from Cairns.

We haven’t been able to cruise out of Cairns for four years now, so as soon as they’re advertised, which P & O are doing now, people are coming in hot. We’re getting four or five people a day inquiring,” said Kristie Sorrell, store manager at Flight Centre Cairns Central.

P & O is currently the only cruise brand with planned departures from Cairns.

The operator has seven departures on sale for 2023 and 2024.

Water park atop the Carnival Splendor cruise ship, the largest ship by passenger capacity that will visit Cairns in 2022.

Water park atop the Carnival Splendor cruise ship, the largest ship by passenger capacity that will visit Cairns in 2022.

Ms Sorrell said anyone interested in booking a cruise could immediately do so via phone, email or in store.

“I like to get people to come into (the) store because I can tailor their experience.

P & O have a $1 deposit on at the moment, so lock it in because they’re going fast.”

Ms Sorrell said the return of cruise ships was definitely an awesome thing for the region’s economy.

“If you have 2000 people on a ship, you’ll get a hundred people doing Skyrail. If I’m booking a tour for somebody else, I find that it’s already heavily booked.

“That goes with every other tour around Cairns — Green Island, the Great Barrier Reef. (The cruise passengers) do all the different tours that Cairns has to offer.

Wharf One manager Grace O’Connell and owner Peter Crotty are eager to welcome the first of the cruise ships to return to Cairns this Saturday. Picture Emily Barker

Wharf One manager Grace O’Connell and owner Peter Crotty are eager to welcome the first of the cruise ships to return to Cairns this Saturday. Picture Emily Barker

“The restaurants that suffered during Covid are going to get a lot more business.”

Peter Crotty, owner of Wharf One Cafe, is one hospitality owner excited by the inbound cruise flotilla.

Mr Crotty bought Wharf One during the height of Covid and has anticipated the full potential of his waterside premises ever since.

“I’m very excited. We’re flat out at the moment but the arrival of the cruise ships is going to take us to the next level,” he said.

“I hear the coffee isn’t that fantastic on the cruise liners so no doubt the passengers will want a nice barista coffee when they disembark.”

Wharf One Cafe located at Trinity Wharf is among the local businesses eagerly awaiting the return of Cruise Ships to the region. Picture: Emily Barker

Wharf One Cafe located at Trinity Wharf is among the local businesses eagerly awaiting the return of Cruise Ships to the region. Picture: Emily Barker

Mr Crotty is considering an extension of his usual opening hours to meet the expected rise in trading, as well as hosting evening functions for people to watch the “impressive sight” of cruise vessel departures. This means he would need to hire more staff.

Cairns MP and Assistant Tourism Minister Michael Healy said he has been working closely with the cruise ship industry.

I can’t wait for the arrival of P & O’s Pacific Explorer … this weekend because … it’s another very welcome green shoot of recovery for Far North Queensland’s visitor economy,” he said.

“We know from experiences overseas since the pandemic, cruise ships are more focused on buying locally.

“For regions like (Far North Queensland) that means more opportunity to supply locally grown fresh tropical fruit, vegetables and meat in addition to fuel and other cruise ship provisions.

Best friends Jane Lawton and Glenys Bonollo enjoy a beverage at Wharf One Cafe by Cairns Seaport, where more than 120 cruise ships will come alongside in the second half of 2022. Photo: Isaac McCarthy.

Best friends Jane Lawton and Glenys Bonollo enjoy a beverage at Wharf One Cafe by Cairns Seaport, where more than 120 cruise ships will come alongside in the second half of 2022. Photo: Isaac McCarthy.

“We’re looking forward to other cruise line operators … announcing further cruises to Cairns.

“The Queensland Government will be engaging in high-level meetings … with the major operators and the Australian Cruise Association to grow the market back above pre-pandemic levels.”

CRUISE JOURNEYS DEPARTING CAIRNS

P & O Pacific Explorer New Guinea Island Encounter, 7 nights: Rabaul, Kiriwina Island and Conflict Islands. Departs Cairns May 2023 and May 2024.

From $849.00 PP/2 person room

P & O Pacific Explorer Solomon Sea Islands, 10 nights: Honiara, Gizo Island, Rabaul, Kiriwina Island and Conflict Islands. Two departures from Cairns in June 2023 and one departure from Cairns in June 2024.

From $1249.00 PP/2 person room

P & O Pacific Explorer Classic Short Break (repositioning cruise), 3-6 nights: Norfolk Island and disembark in Auckland. Departs Cairns June 2023 and June 2024.

You may also read!

Ali Thompson appointed as Visit Sunshine Coast’s new Business & Leisure Events Manager

Ali Thompson, a highly experienced business events and tourism executive, has been appointed Business & Leisure Events Manager for

Read More...

Travelex announces creation of 1,200 new international jobs

FX leader wins new contracts across Asia-Pacific, Europe, Middle East and UK as travel industry continues to recover; new

Read More...

Domino impact of flight cancellations

With airline schedules still not fully back and last minute flight cancellations a frequent occurrence, more and more Australians

Read More...

Mobile Sliding Menu