South Australia Tourism Commission Targets Cruise Industry
By James Ruggia
September 04, 2012 10:09 PM
Though Australia’s cruise industry is still in its infancy, it grew an astonishing 30 percent in 2011. South Australia offers a particularly rich diversity of attractions for cruisers. “The cruise industry in Australia has been growing significantly over the past few years and South Australia has been very successful in attracting these new cruise ships to our region,” said Leah Clarke, the South Australia Tourism Commission’s (SATC) senior business manager, cruise and aviation development.
“We have fantastic infrastructure catering for the largest mega liners and a range of great coastal locations for smaller expedition vessels,” Clarke added. “There are four main ports of call, with Adelaide our capital port and regional ports in Kangaroo Island, Port Lincoln and Robe.”
A new pontoon cruise landing on Kangaroo Island allows international cruise ships to anchor off Penneshaw and tender their passengers to shore. There are already nine cruise ship visits to Kangaroo Island confirmed between 2012 and 2014, with further bookings expected for the 2013-14 season. A 2011 Access Economics report found that every one-day cruise ship visit to Kangaroo Island delivered $100,000 in passenger expenditure to the local economy.
“Our most recent project on Kangaroo Island with a new double tender landing structure and new cruise terminal has created great excitement for Australian cruise itineraries and allows passengers to explore ‘Australia’s Galapagos,’ the world-renowned international tourism destination for Australian wildlife,” said Clarke.
“The number of cruise lines visiting and offering itineraries within South Australia will continue to grow over the next five years, with potentially the biggest growth area in regional port visitation at Kangaroo Island and Port Lincoln. Adelaide will be an option for home porting large vessels.”
Clarke and the SATC see cruise as a key to adding U.S. travelers. “Undertaking a holiday on a cruise ship allows U.S. travelers to experience the best regional showcase of South Australia within four days, which is not possible to do via land touring programs,” Clarke said. “On one day you can be enjoying the Barossa, a world-famous wine region also known for its amazing food, and the next day experiencing the wondrous wildlife of Kangaroo Island. Port Lincoln is found on the Eyre Peninsula, which is known as Australia’s seafood frontier and boasts the nation’s best oysters. It also gives visitors the chance to swim with great white sharks, tuna and sea lions, or simply enjoy spectacular panoramas.”
The state also combines well with such neighbors as Victoria and Tasmania. “South Australia,” said Clarke “is home to Australia’s rail servicing, offering deluxe rail travel to and from Adelaide to Darwin, Perth, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Many pre- and post-touring packages on cruise itineraries include the Ghan rail journey, Southern Ocean Lodge on Kangaroo Island, The Louise in the Barossa and Arkaba Station in the Flinders Ranges and Outback.”