Western Australia Eyes Multifaceted Cruise Strategy

Ovation of the Seas in Fremantle, Western Australia

“Western Australian ports need to be prepared for two markets, one that requires high volume experiences and coach capacity, and the other for much smaller ships with passengers looking for a different experience,” said Christine Cole, project manager, Tourism Western Australia (WA).

“The growth in popularity of cruising opens up opportunities to increase pre- and post-cruise visitation to Perth and regional Western Australia,” Cole continued, adding the state government was committed to growing Western Australia’s cruise business.

Last year, Tourism WA launched a new training program for excursion guides, which is now being delivered state-wide to those interested in becoming an accredited shore excursion guide.

Cole’s agenda list includes attracting new cruise lines, she said, as well as expanding itineraries on lines in already in the region, and securing more homeported vessels.

In Fremantle, the cruise terminal will undergo a $3 million refresh, including substantial internal and external improvements. Expected to be completed in time for the 2018-2019 cruise season, the upgrades will see a new central canopy, repainted façade, updated signage and new flagpoles and banners.

The Sun Princess will sail from Fremantle this October and November, calling on Albany, Busselton, Geraldton, Exmouth and Broome.               

Princess Cruises has also announced that it will homeport  the Sun Princess in Fremantle for a record 141 days next season.

Geraldton, thanks to new shore tension units, is now a mainstay port stop in WA as well, Cole said.

“Busselton in the Margaret River Region has set the benchmark as Western Australia’s new cruise destination, with Queen Mary 2 visiting the South West port of Busselton for the second time and Queen Elizabeth set to make a maiden call in 2019,” Cole continued.

Among other key highlights is the Maasdam, which visits Western Australia in January on a 36-day cruise with calls in Esperance, Albany, Bunbury, Fremantle, Geraldton, Exmouth, Broome, Kuri Bay (Kimberley coast) and Exmouth.

Chef Don Hancey, Western Australia’s Food Ambassador, will join the cruise in Fremantle to provide guests with special menus and cooking demonstrations with the freshest local produce. Chef Hancey will also offer guided tours for small groups in Broome and other destinations. 

“We are confident that Western Australia offers cruise lines an appealing equation that ‘stacks up’ on destination desirability, port satisfaction and value,” Cole said. “ Tourism WA and the State’s port authorities are working together to present a unified offering that will appeal to cruise lines.”

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