Adelaide is the capital city of South Australia. It is located on Torrens River, between Mt Lofty Ranges (to the east) and Gulf St Vincent (to the west). By metro population (over 1,3 million), the city is ranked Australia's 5th largest - after Sydney (New South Wales), Melbourne (Victoria), Brisbane (Queensland) and Perth (Western Australia).
Adelaide is named after Queen Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen (1792-1849), consort of William lV (1765-1837, King of Hanover). City's layout was planned in 1836 as a square-mile grid of wide boulevards surrounded by gardens and nature parks. Once known as "City of Churches", Adelaide has become celebrated for its arts festival, alfresco lifestyle, manageable size and pace, enhanced by a climate in which hot summers and warm autumns are separated by mild winters and springs.
There is a free city-loop bus service running along North Terrace and going to the south through Victoria Square. Shopping can be found close to North Terrace, at Rundle Mall off King William Str. Have in mind that shops and most attractions close at 5 pm. Beyond North Terrace is Torrens River with boat tours and tree-lined promenades, ovelooked by Festival Centre, Convention Centre and Adelaide Oval across the river.
Port Adelaide is located on Port River (officially Port Adelaide River) which is part of an estuary north of downtown. Since 1837, Port River is used as a shipping channel that serves cargo and passenger ships. Harbour Terminal (serving passenger / ferry and cruise ships) is at Outer Harbour (on Gulf St Vincent).
Port Adelaide is approx 14 km (9 mi) northwest of downtown and is also a city suburb (Outer Harbor, industrial suburb). Port's first wharf (Maclaren Wharf) was built in 1840. It had length 102 m (336 ft) and low tide draft/water depth 4,6 m (15 ft). Initially, the port had capacity to handle vessels with max displacement 539 tons. By mid-19th-century, the increasing shipping trade resulted in building new wharves and expanding the harbour facilities.
Outer Harbor's construction started in early-20th-century in order to accommodate larger vessels and reduce the time for navigation up Port River to Inner Harbour. In 2002, Newport Quays (consortium) was contracted by state's Government for the AUD 1,5 billion port development project covering 51 hectares (130 acres) of land. Land sales began in 2005. This project included the building of 2000 residential homes, with construction works creating ~4000 local jobs. In 2008, the now budgeted AUD 2 billion project was nearing completion (2 of 3 phases completed). Phase 3 included building a boat/yacht marina (capacity 100 slots/berths) and a building over the water.
In 2016 was proposed a project for Inner Harbor's Dock One transformation into a premium 23-hectares (0,23 km2) waterfront complex with residential and commercial buildings. The project included 1250 homes to be built across 4 precincts - 750 by Starfish Developments (at precincts Dock One, and Port Approach) and 500 by Cedar Woods (in precincts North West and Fletcher’s Slip). The project included also constructing an esplanade (waterfront promenade) around Inner Harbor, a dockside piazza and refurbishment of Marine and Harbors (old building) into apartments. The 7-year project (estimated to generate ~AUD 280 million in investments) was officially launched on February 10, 2019. Inner Harbor is approx 13 km / 8 mi from downtown's CBD (central business district).
Port's cruising season runs from late-October through early-April. Trends show that the Australian cruising market is growing at a rapid pace. It has some of industry's highest penetration rates nationally. Currently, Australian cruise ports' strongest competition comes from Singapore and Hong Kong (China).
(statistics) Between season 2004-2005 and season 2009-2010, there were an over 450% increase in cruise ship visits and over 685% increase in cruise passengers. During season 2011-2012, MS Athena (rebuilt ocean liner now named Astoria and owned by CMV-Cruise And Maritime Voyages, back then owned by Classic International Cruises / 1985-2012 defunct) was the first ever cruise ship with long-term homeporting in Adelaide (regularly-scheduled roundtrips).
On February 4-5, 2012 (over the weekend) at the port docked 4 cruise liners with total ~10000 passengers and crew. At that time, the largest cruiser that ever visited Australia (Cunard's RMS Queen Mary 2) berthed in the morning (Feb 4) carrying 2620 pax plus 1200 crew. On the next day (Feb 5), at "Outer Harbour 2" docked Celebrity Century (2150 pax, now Marella Explorer 2), Crystal Serenity (1100 pax) and MS Athena (550 pax, now Astoria). Due to all ship calls, business hours in Rundle Mall were extended and live band music entertainment was provided. Weekend's 4 ship visits injected AUD 1,35+ million into state's economy, with AUD 360,000+ to the city and its surrounding regions. Rundle Mall was visited by 60,000+ people (35,000-45,000 on regular weekend days).
During season 2015-2016, inaugural calls at Port Adelaide were made by Explorer of the Seas (RCI-Royal Caribbean), Pacific Eden (P&O Australia), Superstar Virgo (Genting Star Cruises) and Queen Elizabeth (Cunard).
Princess Cruises' 2015-2016 program for the first time ever included a roundtrip departure from Adelaide. The 9-night itinerary visited Melbourne, Burnie (Tasmania), Kangaroo Island, Port Lincoln and Portland (Victoria), with prices starting from AUD 1200 pp (quad cabin rates). Company's 2015-2016 program had scheduled 80+ departures out of Australian ports (Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide) and also from Auckland NZ.
On December 11, 2016, the port was visited by its ever-largest cruise ship - RCI's Ovation of the Seas. The vessel docked at Port Adelaide Passenger Terminal (at 7 am) bringing nearly 6000 passengers and crew. At 4 pm, it departed for Hobart Tasmania. Australia's cruise industry worth for 2016 was estimated at ~USD 5,95 billion.
Princess Cruises' 2018 program (based on Golden Princess) offered roundtrips to New Zealand. The first departure was January 8, 2018 (ports of call Melbourne, Dunedin, Akaroa, Wellington, Gisborne, Tauranga, Auckland, Fiordland Park). During season 2017-2018 (October-March), the cruise port handled 65 ship calls (16 more than 2016-2017) and a total of 159,513 passengers. For season 2019-2020, the port had scheduled 86 ship calls (nearly 1/4 increase).
On February 12, 2018, P&O Australia started company's longest homeporting season in Adelaide. The 8-night cruise (themed "A Taste Of Tasmania") was operated by Pacific Eden.
|12 Feb||Departing from Adelaide, South Australia|
|14 Feb 08:00 - 18:00||Melbourne, Victoria Australia|
|16 Feb 08:00 - 23:00||Hobart, Tasmania|
|17 Feb 08:00 - 18:00||Port Arthur, Tasmania|
|20 Feb||Arriving in Adelaide, South Australia|
The voyage had twice the number of nights of the traditional 3-day Cruises to Nowhere and featured scenic passage through Wineglass Bay (Freycinet National Park) and Great Oyster Bay (Tasman Sea). The available for booking shore excursions were 56, including sampling oysters at Coffin Bay and exploring South Australia's first lighthouse at Cape Willoughby Conservation Park.
During season 2018, P&O had scheduled 5 turnarounds/roundtrips from Adelaide with ~7000 passengers, injecting USD 5 million into the local economy. The 1500-passenger Pacific Eden (now CMV Vasco da Gama) started its first voyage from Adelaide (3-night "Comedy" cruise to nowhere) on February 9. The last roundtrip was on Feb 24 (Food and Wine-themed).
In March 2019, the Dutch company Royal Boskalis Westminster NV won the contract for widening Outer Harbor's shipping channel. The EUR 40 million project was awarded by Flinders Ports (port owner/operator) and includes Boskalis to widen the channel from 130 to 170 m (427-558 ft) and also to extend port's swinging/turning basin to allow access to larger container ships (Post Panamax-sized boxships) and larger cruise liners. Works include removing over 1,5 million m3 of material (sand and clay) via one trailing suction hopper dredger (ship) and one backhoe dredger (barge-mounted excavator). The dredged material will be moved to a designated area approx 30 km (19 mi) offshore. Project's completion was scheduled for 2019-H2.
For 2020-2021 (October through May), Princess scheduled company's ever-largest South Australian homeporting season, with five Adelaide-visiting liners and estimated ~USD 20 million revenue to state's economy - from port charges, ship supplies, passenger-crew spending ashore. Of the 5 Australia-based Princess ships, 2 were homeported in Adelaide (Sea and Sapphire).
Cruise itineraries to and from Adelaide Australia
Follows a list of destinations visited by cruise ships leaving out of Adelaide port:
- World Cruises – from Adelaide are offered around the world voyages by bigger luxury lines (mainly by Cunard, P&O UK, Princess, Cruise Maritime). Full-length itineraries (eastbound or westbound) can be up to 110+ days round-trips and usually start from the UK (out of Southampton England). On those, Australia is only a mid-itinerary destination offering one-way departures from Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney, Fremantle-Perth and Adelaide back to Southampton (disembarkation port). The length of such segment itineraries could be up to 2 months (UK disembarkation). Smaller segments offer up to 40+ days long westbound itineraries to ports in Asia (Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai), the USA (eastbound to San Francisco via Honolulu Hawaii) or eastbound to South Africa (on Around Africa return routes to Europe). Longer segments may end in some of the biggest Mediterranean ports (Piraeus-Athens, Venice, Civitavecchia-Rome, Barcelona). Excluding the South Africa route, all westbound routes to Europe include Suez Canal transition.
- "Circle Australia", "Around Australia" (full circumnavigation of the continent), Australia to Asia and Australia to New Zealand cruise itineraries leaving from Adelaide (round-trip) are rarely offered.
- Cruise to Nowhere Adelaide deals are on 3-day round-trip itineraries without any ports of call along the route. Generally, these are themed voyages with themes like "food and wine", comedy, sports, wellness, music, "Australia Day", etc. There are onboard pre-scheduled theme events and activities like parties, concerts, meetings, presentations, tastings, etc.
- Short-break ("Mini Cruises") visit Port Lincoln (4-day eastbound) and Melbourne (4-day westbound).
- Australia repositioning cruises are considered most of the one-way itineraries between Australia and Asia (mainly to Singapore and Hong Kong) and also when ships change their Australian home (turnaround) ports. The latter include short one-way cruises between Sydney, Brisbane, Fremantle, Melbourne. Adelaide to Fremantle-Perth cruises are 6-day (easbound relocation) coastal itineraries also visiting Kangaroo Island and Esperance.
Adelaide cruise terminal
Cruise ships dock in Port Adelaide Outer Harbour nearly 12 mi (19 km) north of the city centre. Shuttle buses to the shopping area are normally provided, taking 40 minutes to make the journey. The most popular beach at Glenelg can be accessed by a tram from the centre of the city.
Outer Harbor (Berth 2) cruise terminal
- address - "Berth 2, Oliver Rogers Road, Outer Harbour, Port Adelaide South Australia, 5015"
- location - on Le Fievre Peninsula (Oliver Rogers Road in the seaport suburb), approx 9 mi / 14 km northwest of the CBD (City Centre)
- 1 berth (at Outer Harbor). The other South Australia cruise docking options are at Port Lincoln (1 berth), at Penneshaw (Kangaroo Island, anchorage) and at Robe (anchorage).
- There are eight Outer Harbor berths (1 to 8) each with the following restrictions (limits) - max LOA length (985 ft / 300 m), max width (118 ft / 36 m), max depth/draft (47 ft / 14 m).
- The Outer Harbor 2 berth (OH 2) is for passenger and Ro-Ro ships (motor vehicles carrier) operations, with a swing/turning basin 1310 ft / 400 m.
- Flinders Ports has 2 pilot boats for ship assistance in Adelaide port.
- Port Adelaide is owned and operated by Flinders Ports. This is a private company which owns and operates the 7 largest passenger and cargo ports and terminals in South Australia. These are Port Adelaide (cruise passenger terminal, grains/seeds, limestone, petroleum products, motor vehicles, metals, cement, fertilizers, mineral sands and concentrates, agricultural commodities, Iron-ore, steel, break-bulk and container cargo), Port Pirie (mineral concentrates and by-products, coal, general cargo, grains/seeds), Port Lincoln (grains/seeds, petroleum products, fertilizers), Port Giles (grains/seeds), Klein Point (limestone), Thevenard (gypsum, grains/seeds, salt, mineral sands) and Wallaroo (grains/seeds, fertilizers). All those ports and their facilities are operated under a 99-year land lease and port operation license. The company owns and maintains all shipping channels and berths also wharf areas, the adjacent land, roads, utilities and amenities.
Cruise ship terminal directions and parking
- There are 2 commercial airports - Adelaide Airports (in the western suburbs) and Parafield (north of city centre).
- By road - take A7 or A9 to Port Adelaide, then take A16 to Outer Harbor.
- By train - the terminal is linked with the Outer Harbor Railway Station (approx 660 ft / 200 m away) on Oliver Rogers Road, opposite to the terminal.
- By bus - bus line 333 services Oliver Rogers Road and runs to Port Adelaide. It links to other bus routes to adjacent suburbs and to the CBD (central business district).
- Passenger pick-up/drop-off zone is located in front of the Passenger Terminal (entrance through Gate C). Vehicles using the zone are not to be left unattended.
- Inside the terminal area there are no parking spaces available, except a limited number of 15-min spaces. Off-road parking is available south on Oliver Rogers Road (opposite to the terminal - see at the map below).
Adelaide port, beside its passenger (cruise ship) terminal, also has facilities to handle oil tankers and cargo ships (vehicle carriers, bulk carriers and container vessels) and dry dock facilities for marine vessel refurbishments and repairs.
- UN-LOCODE (United Nations location code) - AUADL
- supported by excellent road, rail and air infrastructure
- deep water berths (max draught 47 ft / 14 m)
- sheltered harbor area
- access unrestricted by tides - mean high spring tide (8 ft / 2,4 m), mean high neap tide (4 ft / 1,3 m)
- capability to accommodate 3 smaller vessels at a time
- The Adelaide cruise ship terminal doesn't provide shore-to-ship power (shore-side electricity supply) which could reduce significantly the levels of emissions, noise and vibration in port.
- The cruise port is accessible the whole year round – 24/7, 365 days a tear.
- Cruise ships usually arrive in Adelaide in early morning (at 5, 5:30, 6, 6:30, 7 or 8 am) and depart from Adelaide in late afternoon or in the evening (at 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9 pm).
- The best vantage points to see ship arrivals/departures are Semaphore and Lady Ruthven Reserve.
Adelaide tours, shore excursions, hotels
City Tours and Shore Excursions
Adelaide South Australia is famous with:
- music festivals - Big Day Out, Creamfields, Future Music, Laneway, Parklife, Soundwave, Stereosonic, Summadayze
- dance festivals - Australian Dance Theatre, Leigh Warren Dancers, Restless Dance Theatre
- sporting events - Australian rules football, soccer, cricket, rugby, basketball, Tour Down Under bicycle race, Australian Grand Prix, World Solar Challenge, dirt track speedway
- food and wine regions - Barossa, McLaren Vale, Clare Valley, Adelaide Hills
- shopping - Rundle Mall precinct
- native wildlife - Adelaide Hills (Cleland Conservation Park)
- long beachfronts
- large defence industries and technology organisations (including the local branches of BAE Systems and Lockheed Martin)
- Port Lincoln - cage-diving with sharks
- Kangaroo Island - native wildlife, unique food and wines, natural rock formations.
Port Adelaide cruise ship schedule shows timetable calendars of all arrival and departure dates by month. The port's schedule lists all ships (in links) with cruises going to or leaving from Adelaide, South Australia. To see the full itineraries (ports of call dates and arrival / departure times) and their lowest rates – just follow the corresponding ship-link.
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