Cairns Post extract Monday January 30
New-wave liners put city on must-see list LUXURY, high-end cruises are making Cairns a port of call.
The MS Europa 2, considered to be the most luxurious cruise liner in the world, made its maiden voyage to Cairns stopping overnight on its way to Hong Kong. This is the second five-star vessel to pull into Cairns in the past week. The Seabourne Encore stopped over for two nights, leaving Friday afternoon.
Cairns economist Bill Cummings said up to $1 million could have been injected into the economy as a result of the two visits. "These are fairly upmarket ships and the indications from the surveying that's carried out by Cruise Lines International Australia is that for ships like this it's probably up around $300 a day per passenger," Mr Cummings said. He said expenditure was spread over food, shopping and exploring the region. Mr Cummings said there was also the opportunity for the crew to come ashore. "These ships have got quite a high crew component because they're upmarket ships," he said. Mr Cummings said these were smaller cruise liners.
"Until we get that upgrading of the port, there's quite a bit of traffic that is not being able to come in and experience Cairns fully," he said In March and April there would be eight larger cruise liners standing off the coast with up to 19,000 people unable to experience Cairns properly.
Chamber of Commerce president Nick Loukas said the two high-end vessels' visits showed the region was earning increased recognition as an excellent cruise ship destination. "I would anticipate that there would be more and more of those cruise ships coming to Cairns," he said.