Australia's annual Cruise Week kicked off yesterday (September 6) with more value-adds and savings for Australian vacationers than at any other time of year. Available from accredited by CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association) agents only, the discounted voyages must be booked during the next week.
CLIA Australasia, launching the initiative, released the latest statistics for upcoming cruise season, running from the end of September 2015 through April 30, 2016, which will see the record 38 CLIA member ships making over 800 calls to Australian cruise ports.
Of these visiting cruise ships, 8 are new to the region, which is more than double the number that had their local debut last season. Azamara Club Cruises will be also welcome in Australia for the first time following the visit of Azamara Quest in January 2016.
Other ships with maiden cruises to Australia this season include Noordam (Holland America Line), Explorer of the Seas (Royal Caribbean), Costa Luminosa (Costa Cruises), Pacific Aria and Pacific Eden (P&O Cruises), Golden Princess (Princess Cruises), Le Soleal (Ponant).
The commercial director for CLIA Australasia, Brett Jardine, shared that the popularity of cruising knew no boundaries and described Australia as “hot property”. He added that not only they had fantastic ports and great weather, but also boasted a population that couldn't wait to cruise, and that was encouraging more lines to send more cruise ships their way.
In 2014 more than 1 million Australians took a cruise. The 2015 figure is expected to be higher.