The first of the Princess Cruises’ Sun class vessels will sail into the Cairns Cruise Liner Terminaltomorrow morning, marking the beginning of an enormous boost to the Cairns cruise industry and the regional economy.
Treasurer and Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt said Dawn Princess carries almost 3,000 passengers and crew – yet another vote of confidence in Cairns as one of Australia’s premier cruise destinations.
“This is the first of three Princess Cruises’ Australian-based ships (Sun Princess, Sea Princess and Dawn Princess) that will be docking at the Port of Cairns on a regular basis,” Mr Pitt said.
“Extensive investigations and technical mapping have been undertaken to prove that these superliners could safely traverse the shipping channel.
“These developments will see cruise ship visits to the Port of Cairns increase by more than 50 per cent to 65 visits during 2017 compared to 42 scheduled in 2016.
“This is great news for the regional economy, with tens of thousands of Princess passengers now having immediate access to Cairns instead of spending time transferring by tender boats from ships anchored at Yorkeys Knob.
“It’s great to see Port’s North, one of our Government owned corporations, working with the cruise industry to deliver more tourists and economic activity to Cairns and the surrounding region.
“It also highlights the importance of our Sustainable Ports Development Act which will allow for both the expansion of the Reef Fleet Terminal while protecting the Great Barrier Reef – which is what tourists come from around the globe to see.”
Mr Beer said the Princess Cruises’ arrivals come in the same year as the home porting of Pacific Eden in September – the first P&O vessel to be based in Cairns.
“This new development builds on Ports North’s commitment to playing an active part in supporting the Far North Queensland tourism industry,” Mr Beer said.
“We are a strong advocate for the value of cruise tourism to Cairns and we continue to search for opportunities for Cairns as a port-of-call as well as a home port.
“The suitability of Cairns for these ships will only strengthen Cairns’ position as an international cruise tourism destination.”
Princess Cruises Vice President Australia Stuart Allison said Far North Queensland was a popular cruise destination for Princess Cruises.
“We’re very excited that we can now berth our three Sun class ships at the Cairns Cruise Liner Terminal. It’s a move that means over the next two years we will be able to make 18 calls to the city, giving more than 35,000 guests direct access to Cairns,” Mr Allison said.
To mark Dawn Princess’ maiden visit on Wednesday June 8, a traditional plaque presentation between Ports North and the ship’s captain will take place on board the vessel.
The ship is scheduled to dock at 0800 hrs and depart later that day at 2030 hrs.