Victoria is set to welcome hundreds of interstate and international visitors, with the confirmation of new P&O Cruise ship itineraries for Melbourne, Mornington Peninsula and Portland.
“Cruising is the world’s fastest growing segment of the global tourism market and Victoria is keen to capitalise on that demand by incorporating Victorian destinations into cruise itineraries to showcase our unique tourism experiences,” Minister for Tourism, Louise Asher said.
Ms Asher said a major benefit from the arrival of more cruise ships is jobs.
“Having more ships in Victorian waters means that there is a greater economic benefit to the state, as the vessels take on stores, provisions and fuel to complete their journey, thereby generating more jobs in Victoria,” Ms Asher said.
In 2014/15, Victoria will receive a total of 86 cruise ship visits, including three visits to Geelong, three to Portland and one to the Mornington Peninsula. There are 70 ships already scheduled to visit in 2015/16.
This is up on last season when 73 cruise ships visited Victoria, with five visits to Geelong and one to Portland.
The Victorian Coalition Government has been working with P&O Cruises to ensure that Melbourne and Victorian ports are included on cruise itineraries. This has yielded positive results, particularly with the inclusion of the Mornington Peninsula and Portland in the expanded itineraries.
Melbourne’s major events will also be on show to visitors, as P&O Cruises expands their ‘Main Events’ concept cruises with ships arriving from Sydney and Brisbane to experience the Australian Open Tennis, the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival and the Melbourne Cup.
2015 will be a busy year for regional Victoria ports, with the maiden voyage of the Pacific Jewel from Sydney to the Mornington Peninsula in March and with Portland to receive six visits as part of the Melbourne to South Australia cruises.
The Golden Princess, a 2,600 passenger ship will be based in Melbourne from October 2015 for a series of 15 round-trip cruises to New Zealand, Tasmania and the South Pacific.