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South Australia cruise season blows record-high ‘out of the water’

Kangaroo Island Ocean Safari
Abbie Tiller

Princess Cruises’ Grand Princess has stopped off at Kangaroo Island, signalling the start of another record-breaking cruise season for South Australia.

With 124 visits scheduled across the state in 2023-24, it is set to blow last season’s record-high of out of the water. In 2022-23, 103 cruise and expedition ships visited SA, injecting $215 million into the state and supporting 704 jobs.

Carrying up to 2,600 passengers and 1,100 crew, Princess Cruises’ Grand Princess also docked at the newly renovated Port Adelaide Cruise Terminal, with passengers disembarking for onshore tours and experiences across Adelaide, Barossa, Adelaide Hills, and Fleurieu Peninsula.

Regional Shore Excursions a boost for South Australia

Emma Terry, Chief Executive at South Australian Tourism Commission (SATC), said a key focus for the SATC is not only growing the value of cruises for our state but ensuring the benefits are spread across the regions, which is why shore excursion programs to regions like the Barossa and visits to destinations like Robe are so important.

“Off the back of strong growth last season when the sector contributed an all-time high $215 million to our state, it is clear South Australia remains a must-visit cruise destination.”

Cruise ships scheduled for South Australia through to April 2024 include Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas – one of the biggest cruise ships to visit Australia – carrying up to 4,180 passengers and 1,500 crew, and Celebrity’s Celebrity Edge – scheduled for its first visit to South Australia – carrying up to 2,908 passengers and 1,377 crew.

This season is set to bring a capacity of 234,000 passengers and crew to South Australia, with cruise ship visits to Adelaide, Penneshaw and Port Lincoln, as well as expedition ship visits to more remote coastal locations such as Coffin Bay on the Eyre Peninsula, American River on Kangaroo Island, and Robe on the Limestone Coast.

Tourism Minister, Zoe Bettison said “we’re full speed into the season which will bring tens of thousands of visitors to South Australia to experience our city, our world-class wine regions and produce, and impressive destinations from the hills to the coast.

“We are very excited to be welcoming back the sector, worth $215 million to South Australia’s visitor economy.”


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