A trio of cruise ships will make maiden calls to Fremantle (Perth, Western Australia) this month, marking a revival in the US$270 million-per-year industry in WA.
According to Tourism Minister Paul Papalia, more than a hundred cruise ships will have visited the ports of Fremantle, Albany, Broome, Busselton, Esperance, and Exmouth, by the end of June 2019, bringing an estimated 112,000 passengers to Western Australia in 2018-2019.
The ships visiting Fremantle include Silversea's new flagship, Silver Muse; superliner MSC Magnifica, that is calling at Fremantle as part of a 199-day world voyage; and Viking Sun en route to Durban.
According to Mr. Papalia, 2019-2020 was due to bring more cruise ships to Western Australia. He added Carnival Australia was returning to WA in 2019, with Sun Princess expected to homeport in Western Australia for a record 141 days.
When Carnival stopped homeporting in WA due to regional port issues, the Minister said they had "acted swiftly to rectify the problems and committed to improvements at Geraldton, Broome, and Fremantle cruise ports." The cruise company responded with the largest investment the cruise brand had ever made in the State.
The Fremantle Passenger Terminal received a US$3.25 million spruce-up to improve the cruise experience for passengers.
According to Fremantle mayor Brad Pettitt, while the makeover had been welcome, the area in front of the cruise passenger terminal had made an ugly first impression of the city. The State Government established the Victoria Quay steering group, chaired by Simone McGurk (Fremantle MLA), to look at the issues.