Having already played host to large cruise ships from Cunard, Celebrity Cruises, Royal Caribbean and many others, Newcastle has today revealed its plans to welcome even more through a new and state-of-the-art cruise terminal, due for completion in 2018 in time to begin welcoming cruise ships for the 2018/19 season.
The $12.7 million dollar facility will cater to ships up to 320 metres in length and will rise on the site which currently offers a simple marquee to welcome travellers arriving on cruise ships. The terminal will be funded jointly by the NSW Government’s Hunter Infrastructure & Investment Fund, with a contribution from the Federal Government. It will be built at the Channel Berth within the existing Carrington Precinct just inside the harbour entrance.
Along with enhanced wharf infrastructure, the forthcoming Newcastle Cruise Terminal will offer dedicated baggage handling and security services, setting up the city for cruise ships to conduct full turnarounds (the process of ending one cruise, disembarking passengers and reloading for another) in the future. Dedicated car and coach parking will also be constructed while accessibility will also be improved.
Meetings, conventions and events will also be able to use the new cruise terminal, with space for these events to also be made available outside of times when ships are in town.
Speaking at today’s announcement – attended by NSW Premier Mike Baird and Port of Newcastle CEO Geoff Crowe – P&O Cruises president Sture Myrmell said the announcement was good news for the people of Newcastle.
“This local investment in port infrastructure acknowledges the Hunter region’s attractiveness as a cruise destination, with its ease of access to the surrounding wine growing district and other quality attractions.
“It also acknowledges cruise tourism’s local economic contribution as the industry continues to record double-digit growth in passenger numbers in Australia with domestic itineraries and short break cruises among the big growth areas in this market.”
Speaking of local suppliers, Myrmell referred to the nearly 100,000 bottles of Hunter Valley wine brands purchased by P&O Cruises and served across its five ships each year.