Explorer of the Seas in Sydney (photo: Clyde Dickens)

The port portfolio is coming together for Destination NSW with record traffic in Sydney, a new cruise terminal for Newcastle and the emergence of Eden and Kembla as key transit call ports.

“The cruise sector is a major contributor to the NSW visitor economy, and the additional capacity being moved into Australia provides our State with even more opportunities to leverage the positive impacts of the growing east coast tourism trade, particularly for regional communities,” said a spokesperson from Destination NSW.

Port Kembla made its debut last October with its first cruise ship call coming from the Radiance of the Seas.

Destination NSW partnered with Destination Wollongong, the Port Authority of NSW, Port Kembla and other key local stakeholders to make sure it was a success. A new shore excursion program was inaugurated just for the visit. Authorities also put together a welcome event in Lang Park, which offered guests the experience of visiting a craft market, including food and wine stalls, entertainment and visitor information services.

Among the highlights in Wollongong are the world’s second oldest national park, the famous Sea Cliff Bridge, and Australia’s highest altitude beach dive.

Expect Port Kembla to attract more visits with a proactive cruise ship plan combined with a deep shipping channel and the facilities to handle large ships.

Newcastle is poised to play a role in potential future homeporting for New South Wales (NSW), as a new cruise terminal will be completed for the 2018-2019 cruise season. $12.7 million of funding will come courtesy of the NSW Government via the Restart NSW Hunter Infrastructure Investment Fund.

The scope of the work includes an adjacent parking lot and wharf fill-in enhancement.

Mooring bollards are the major news for this season, allowing the port to host the latest megaships.

As a result of investing in the bollard upgrades, the Port of Newcastle has secured two bookings by the Explorer of the Seas.