Cruise lines are supporting the idea of utilising Port Botany as an alternative berth due to the lack of space in Sydney Harbour.
According to The Daily Telegraph, Sydney’s space issue has forced the government to consider new facilities at Port Botany – which is just a short distance from the city’s dirtiest beach.
“The government is looking at ways to boost capacity for cruise ships in Sydney Harbour, including exploring the availability of cargo berths at Port Botany,” a spokesman for Roads, Maritime and Freight Minister Melinda Pavey said.
And the Cruise Lines International Association has also indicated it would be willing to support the new facilities, as cruise companies have been forced to homeport ships in other cities like Melbourne and Brisbane.
“Sydney Harbour has reached capacity over the cruise season and is in urgent need of additional berthing space for the industry to meet its growth potential through the deployment of newer and larger ships in the region,” said Joel Katz, the Managing Director of CLIA.
“The growth of cruising throughout Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific is highly dependent on the infrastructure of Sydney which is the cruise gateway for the region.”
Royal Caribbean has had to look at other alternatives like berthing Radiance of the Seas in Wollongong and Ovation of the Seas would have made more trips to Sydney if the space was available.
“RCL supports all potential solutions to the critical berthing issue in Sydney. We support the process the Government is undertaking to consider the available sites for the new terminal but as the departure of Voyager of the Seas in 2018-19 demonstrates, Sydney needs a new size unlimited terminal as soon as possible,” said a spokesperson from Royal Caribbean.
Carnival Corporation which owns Carnival Cruise Line Australia and Cunard were forced to homeport the Carnival Legend and Queen Elizabeth in 2018 and 2019, costing Sydney at least $11 million in business.