Reputation grows as cruise ship destination.
In October 2016, Wollongong welcomed the maiden voyage of the Royal Caribbean Mega Liner, Radiance of the Seas, marking the beginning of an exciting new industry for the region. A further three ships were welcomed over the summer, with thousands of passengers and crew experiencing what Wollongong has to offer.
The development of Wollongong as an attractive cruise destination could not be more timely for the cruise industry as congestion in Sydney Harbour threatens to constrain industry growth. The Australian cruise industry recorded an increase of 15.9% in the number of cruise ships visits in 2015-16, continuing the trend of double figure growth for the last ten years. Additionally, Australia has the highest market penetration in the world for cruise ship visitors at 4.5%.
With Sydney’s Overseas Passenger Terminal now at full capacity, Wollongong is poised to take advantage of this opportunity, according to Destination Wollongong General Manager Mark Sleigh. “Making use of the resources at Port Kembla Harbour is a logical step for cruise companies looking for alternative opportunities within the burgeoning marketplace for Australian cruising,” Mr Sleigh said. “Using Port Kembla Harbour at Wollongong as a turnaround port is not without precedence. You only have to look at major destination cities around the world to understand the validity of this call. Some of the most valued destinations in the world like London, Paris and Rome have their associated cruising ports more than 100km away. With its array of activities, stunning beaches and relaxed lifestyle, Wollongong makes a wonderful overnight base for passengers embarking or disembarking cruise ships. It is also close enough to Sydney for easy access for international passengers.”
Wollongong is currently part of the itinerary for three more cruises, with talks of more to come.
- 29 January 2018 – Radiance of the Seas.
- 18 March 2018 – Explorer of the Seas.
- 11 February 2019 – Explorer of the Seas.
Radiance of the Seas will carry 2,400 guests and 700 crew, while Explorer of the Seas will bring 4,500 guests and 1,400 crew to the city.