The arrival of Disney Wonder at the Brisbane International Cruise Terminal (BICT) on her maiden call as part of her inaugural Australian season was a great show of confidence in Brisbane, Port of Brisbane CEO, Neil Stephens, said.

“We were absolutely delighted to welcome the Disney Wonder to the Brisbane International Cruise Terminal as the 2023/24 summer cruise season kicks into full swing,” Stephens said after the arrival on Friday, December 8.

“The arrival of Disney Cruise Lines to the BICT speaks volumes about the industry’s confidence in Brisbane as a key hub for cruising in Australia.

“The BICT had an enormously successful first full cruise season in 2022/23, welcoming 139 cruise ships. This season, 165 cruise ships are currently scheduled to call during October 2023 to September 2024.

“With every ship call contributing almost $1 million to the Queensland economy, the cruise tourism industry will continue to play a significant role in our state’s economic growth and prosperity.”

Disney Wonder in Brisbane.

Investment in parking continues

Stephens said the Port of Brisbane was continuing to invest in the world-class facility to support the cruise industry. 

“We’re currently expanding the existing onsite car parking, with works underway to deliver 340 new car parking spaces during 2024. This is in addition to our $177 million investment to privately fund and deliver the terminal to ensure cruising has a dedicated and world-class home in Brisbane.”

Wilson Parking will continue to manage the BICT space.

Brisbane will welcome more than 160 vessels to the Brisbane International Cruise Terminal during the 2023/24 cruise season which runs from October to September 2024.

Cyclone Jasper aside, ships like Disney Wonder and Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas and Carnival Cruse Line’s Carnival Luminosa put Queensland cruising in direct competition with the ports of Sydney and Melbourne. Sydney’s OPT and White Bay are almost at peak capacity and in Melbourne, Cunard recently cancelled Station Pier as a homeport because of rising costs, opting instead to invest in Brisbane as a port of call.

A report by Deloitte Access Economics, commissioned by Port of Brisbane, found that cruising from Brisbane will contribute around $1.15 billion over the decade from FY22.

Cunard in Port Melbourne
Cunard at Station Pier in Melbourne.