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The country’s biggest cruise operator, Carnival Australia will have a bumper wave season this summer with a record 696 port calls generating more than $500 million in economic activity.

Carnival’s cruise season will kick off this Saturday when Princess Cruises’ flagship Majestic Princess arrives to make Sydney her homeport for her maiden six-month season Down Under.

During the coming wave season, Carnival will have 20 ships make an unprecedented 696 calls in ports across Australia – up 13 per cent on the previous summer season of 616 calls.

Carnival Australia’s Sture Myrmell said Carnival’s 20 ships will make an estimated contribution of $500 million including passenger and crew spending, supplies and port charges.

“In 2008-09, our ships made fewer than 200 calls to local ports over the cruise season. That number has more than tripled over the past decade as more and more Australians have discovered that not only is cruising a great holiday, it’s also a fantastic way to explore our country,’’ Mr Myrmell said.

There will be a number of inaugural visits to local ports including Seabourn Sojourn calling at Batemans Bay and Flinders Island on December 12 and 16 respectively.
Queensland will attract more than a third of the port visits with Carnival Australia’s ships scheduled to make 247 calls to 11 Queensland ports this summer – up 30 per cent on last summer’s 190 port calls.

P&O Cruises will mark its first ever, three ship deployment in Brisbane with Pacific Jewel, sailing alongside Brisbane homeported Pacific Dawn and Pacific Aria from September to early November.

P&O will also have its biggest-ever Adelaide program with 12 cruises visiting SA between January and March next year.

Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth will spend two months cruising from Sydney and Melbourne in February and March next year – the longest Australian deployment of one of Cunard’s current fleet of Queens.

Queen Elizabeth will also make a maiden call to Burnie in February next year.
Seabourn ships will make nine maiden calls in Australian ports including Seabourn Encore visiting Airlie Beach.

Carnival Cruise Line will have a record nine cruises from Melbourne while Holland America Line will make seven maiden calls including Maasdam visiting Norfolk Island, Bunbury and Broome while Noorsdam calling at Gladstone and Newcastle.

Carnival Australia has seven lines including, Princess Cruises, P&O, Carnival Cruise Line, Cunard, Holland America, Seabourn and P&O Cruises World Cruising.