A new report released by Infrastructure Australia, a Federal Government body, has highlighted the need for an increase in berthing capacity for cruise ships sailing into Sydney.

The lack of capacity at the Overseas Passenger Terminal has resulted in a number of cruise lines homeporting ships in other states.

The cruise industry contributed $2.7 billion into the Australian economy in 2016/17, and a staggering 58 per cent of the economic impact comes from New South Wales, and, primarily Sydney.

The report states; “there is an insufficient berthing capacity for large cruise ships at Sydney’s Overseas Passenger Terminal, particularly during the peak cruising season around the summer period.

“While there is capacity at the White Bay Terminal, it does not cater for the industry’s shift towards larger ships, which cannot fit under the Sydney Harbour Bridge.”

The report also indicated that the increase in berthing capacity would be a near term project and has outlined it would be looking for a solution within the next five years.

Some of the proposed initiatives to alleviate the problem include, maximising the capacity of existing terminals by changing scheduling, operations and pricing, modifying existing terminals and potentially developing new cruise terminals.

The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Australasia has welcomed Infrastructure Australia’s prioritisation of a new Sydney cruise terminal, which is critical to the future development of the country’s thriving cruise industry.

CLIA Australasia Managing Director Joel Katz said today’s release of the 2019 Infrastructure Priority List provided important recognition for the economic contribution cruising makes to the national economy and the serious capacity constraints faced in Australia’s largest cruise port.

“Sydney’s existing cruise facility at Circular Quay is at capacity during Australia’s peak summer cruise season, which limits the number of ships that can visit,” Mr Katz said.

“This has knock-on effects for other destinations around the country, so it is important that this issue has been recognised at the national level as a key infrastructure priority.”

The cruise industry supports the NSW Government’s commitment to developing a strategic business case for an additional cruise terminal.

“The industry will work constructively with the NSW Government to support the development of additional cruise facilities and looks forward to achieving a viable solution in the near future,” Mr Katz said.